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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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