Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

African-American Mothers More Likely To Deliver Prematurely, Missouri Study Finds

Date:
February 12, 2007
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
African-American women are three times more likely to deliver babies three to 17 weeks prematurely than Caucasian women, according to a review of Missouri birth statistics by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In addition, African-American women are more likely to deliver babies prematurely in subsequent pregnancies.

African-American women are three times more likely to deliver babies three to 17 weeks prematurely than Caucasian women, according to a review of Missouri birth statistics by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

In addition, African-American women are more likely to deliver babies prematurely in subsequent pregnancies.

The researchers analyzed data from the Missouri Department of Health's maternally linked database of all births in Missouri between 1989 and 1997, adjusting for such variables as socioeconomic status, education level, cigarette smoking and maternal medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and eclampsia. Full-term birth is considered to be between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of gestation.

Results of the analysis appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The data showed that 8.8 percent of births to African-American women were between 20 weeks and 34 weeks gestation, or nearly three times the 2.95 percent of premature births to Caucasian women. In addition, African-American women were nearly four times as likely to deliver babies between 20 weeks and 28 weeks gestation than Caucasian women.

African-American women also were nearly 5.5 times more likely to have recurrent preterm births than Caucasian women.

Nationally, Caucasian women have about an 11 percent risk of delivering prematurely, while African-American women have a 19 percent risk of delivering prematurely, said Louis J. Muglia, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and professor of pediatrics and of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine.

"We found that African-American women experience preterm birth not only at increased rates as compared with Caucasian women but also at earlier gestations and with increased repetition for a woman who has had at least two babies," said Muglia, director of the Center for Preterm Birth Research at the School of Medicine. "We also found that subsequent preterm births to a mother happen at the same week as her original preterm birth. These findings highlight the importance of race, particularly after correction for other risk factors, and suggest a probable genetic component that may underlie the public health problem presented by the racial disparity in preterm birth."

The genes likely involved in pregnancy and the birth process also impact other aspects of human health, said Muglia, director of the division of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at St. Louis Children's Hospital. So far, researchers have found a link between genes that play a role in human birth and those that determine the response to infection, but they are still working to pinpoint causes of preterm birth.

"By understanding specifically what results in this health disparity in African-American women, we can gain a tremendous amount of insight into a normal birth process in respect to preterm birth," said Muglia. "If we can work to reduce the frequency of preterm birth in the African-American population, which is almost twice as great as in the Caucasian population, I think we will make an enormous impact on human health."

Although other researchers have studied this phenomenon, this analysis further clarifies the risk of premature birth in African-American women and the probable genetic link.

"This study helps set the stage for identification of novel genomic strategies to understand fundamental mechanisms responsible for the epidemic of prematurity in the United States," said F. Sessions Cole, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for children's health at the School of Medicine and director of the Division of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and chief medical officer at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Kistka ZA-F, Palomar L, Lee KA, Boslaugh SE, Wangler MF, Cole FS, DeBaun MR, Muglia LJ. Racial disparity in the frequency of recurrence of preterm birth. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 2007.

Funding from the March of Dimes, Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship and Howard Hughes Medical Institute supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "African-American Mothers More Likely To Deliver Prematurely, Missouri Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070209074144.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2007, February 12). African-American Mothers More Likely To Deliver Prematurely, Missouri Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070209074144.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "African-American Mothers More Likely To Deliver Prematurely, Missouri Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070209074144.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins