Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More Babies Born Prematurely But Survival Rates Up, UK Study Shows

Date:
September 22, 2009
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Premature births have increased significantly although survival rates of babies born early have improved dramatically, a study in the UK shows. The risk of neonatal death from premature birth more than halved during a 25-year period and there has also been a 10 percent reduction in stillbirth associated with preterm births.

Premature births have increased significantly although survival rates of babies born early have improved dramatically, a study shows.

The risk of neonatal death from premature birth more than halved during a 25 year period and there has also been a 10 per cent reduction in stillbirth associated with pre-term births.

The University of Edinburgh research analysed data relating to nearly 90,000 births in Scotland between 1980 and 2005.

Researchers hope that better understanding of the trends and causes behind premature births will help to develop better treatments for expectant mothers.

The number of babies born prematurely increased from 54 per 1,000 births between 1980 and 1985 to 63 per 1,000 births between 2000 and 2005.

Improvements in the survival rates of premature babies were greater when births were medically induced or by pre-planned Caesarean section compared with pre-term births in which labour occurred naturally.

The findings support the shift towards more medically induced early births, with these preterm deliveries up more than 40 per cent compared with a 10 per cent increase in early births from natural onset of labour.

The research, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, also found the growing number of expectant mothers with diabetes had resulted in an increase in the numbers of babies born prematurely.

Researchers found a seven-fold increase in premature births where the mothers were diabetic before becoming pregnant. Premature births linked to gestational diabetes, where expectant mothers develop diabetes during pregnancy, also increased four-fold over the study period.

High blood pressure in expectant mothers, however, remained the major factor linked to pre-term births – although the proportion of babies born prematurely as a result of this condition decreased over the 25-year study period.

A rise in the average age of women becoming pregnant was not found to have affected the incidence of premature births.

Professor Jane Norman, Director of the Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health Research at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The increase in survival rates for babies born prematurely backs up decisions by doctors to medically induce births to prevent potential complications. The increase in diabetes as a factor in premature births is also interesting and may be because there are more women with pre-existing diabetes – which is linked to obesity – as well as better diagnosis of expectant mothers with gestational diabetes.”

The study was carried out in collaboration with Information Services Division and NHS Scotland and funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government and the charity Tommy’s.

Premature births are linked to more than 66 per cent of single baby still births, 65 per cent of single baby neonatal deaths and 67 per cent of infants who have a prolonged stay in the neonatal unit.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Norman JE, Morris C, Chalmers J. The Effect of Changing Patterns of Obstetric Care in Scotland (1980-2004) on Rates of Preterm Birth and Its Neonatal Consequences: Perinatal Database Study. PLoS Med, 2009; 6 (9): e1000153 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000153

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "More Babies Born Prematurely But Survival Rates Up, UK Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921201823.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2009, September 22). More Babies Born Prematurely But Survival Rates Up, UK Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921201823.htm
University of Edinburgh. "More Babies Born Prematurely But Survival Rates Up, UK Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921201823.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. 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