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.

Related Articles


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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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