Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk of stillbirth associated with factors known early in pregnancy

Date:
December 13, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Stillbirth is associated with a range of health and socio-demographic factors identifiable before or at the start of pregnancy, including prior pregnancy outcomes, ethnicity and modifiable health factors, such as diabetes, obesity and smoking. These findings are the result of the largest population-based stillbirth study.

Stillbirth is associated with a range of health and socio-demographic factors identifiable before or at the start of pregnancy, including prior pregnancy outcomes, ethnicity and modifiable health factors, such as diabetes, obesity and smoking. These findings are the result of the largest population-based stillbirth study and are reported in the December 14th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Related Articles


The multi-site study is among the initial publications by the NIH-funded Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network (SCRN), of which the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is a member. In the US, stillbirths account for almost half of the deaths from 20 weeks' gestation to one year of life and occur in approximately one out of every 160 pregnancies. This study examined risk factors that could be ascertained at the start of pregnancy -- at a time when clinicians counsel patients about the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The research took place over two and a half years at nearly 60 U.S. urban and rural community and academic hospitals with access to at least 90 percent of deliveries within their geographic regions. The study included 614 stillbirths and 1,816 live births. Data collection and evaluation were designed in a manner that would ensure this study was more representative and rigorous than prior studies of stillbirths.

Several reproductive factors were most strongly associated with stillbirth, including previous stillbirth, nulliparity (i.e., never having borne a child) with and without history of miscarriages at fewer than 20 weeks' gestation, and multiple births in the current pregnancy.

Other factors found to be associated with stillbirth included:

  • Non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity;
  • Obesity;
  • Diabetes;
  • Pregnancy after age 40;
  • Maternal AB blood type;
  • Not living with a partner;
  • Smoking during three months prior to pregnancy; and
  • History of illicit drug use.

"Moms-to-be and clinicians have a window of opportunity to save babies' lives by maintaining a healthy weight, managing conditions such as diabetes and stopping all unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, prior to pregnancy. In fact, obesity may be among the greatest risk factors that we have control over," said corresponding author Dr. George Saade, Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UTMB. He added that women with any of these known risk factors should start prenatal care early and that doctors should monitor them closely.

"We were surprised to learn that while these risk factors were significant on their own, they didn't account for the largest risk of stillbirth. Even if effective, reducing modifiable risks across the board would be unlikely to prevent all stillbirths," he said. "Other factors -- perhaps occurring later in pregnancy -- may have more predictive value, either independently or combined with these early risk factors."

The SCRN was established by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in 2003 to investigate the extent and causes of stillbirth in the United States. The researchers have a study underway looking at potential risk factors that may occur later in pregnancy. Other future studies will explore possible genetic risk factors and how various risk factors may be linked.

Ultimately, the SCRN's body of research will be used to develop a model to calculate patients' individual risks so that doctors can take appropriate steps to prevent stillbirth. These include providing those at highest risk with additional monitoring and care and improving our ability to determine the risks and benefits of delivering early versus continuing the pregnancy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Bukowski, M. Carpenter, D. Conway, D. Coustan, D. J. Dudley, R. L. Goldenberg, C. J. R. Hogue, M. A. Koch, C. B. Parker, H. Pinar, U. M. Reddy, G. R. Saade, R. M. Silver, B. J. Stoll, M. W. Varner, M. Willinger. Causes of Death Among Stillbirths. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 306 (22): 2459 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1823

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Risk of stillbirth associated with factors known early in pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213190029.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2011, December 13). Risk of stillbirth associated with factors known early in pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213190029.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Risk of stillbirth associated with factors known early in pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213190029.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
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
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

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:

More Coverage


Most Common Causes, Risk Factors for Stillbirth

Dec. 13, 2011 — Two studies by the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network have identified the most common causes and risk factors for stillbirth, including causes such as preterm labor and risk factors that ... read more

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