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Predisposition to Spontaneous Preterm Delivery Inherited

Increased risk seen in premature daughters as well as full-term daughters with a premature sibling

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Spontaneous preterm birth is more likely to occur in women who were born spontaneously preterm themselves, or who have siblings who were, according to research published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sohinee Bhattacharya, of the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 22,343 pregnancies occurring in 13,845 daughters born to 11,576 mothers from a maternal-neonatal databank. The primary outcome was spontaneous preterm delivery (24 to 37 weeks' gestation).

The researchers found that those women who had been born prematurely had a significantly increased risk of having a spontaneous preterm birth themselves (odds ratio [OR], 1.49), with a stronger association being seen in nulliparous women in this category (OR, 1.60). Women whose mothers had a spontaneous preterm delivery with any other pregnancy also had an increased risk (OR, 1.35). There was a 6.2 percent risk of having spontaneous premature delivery in women who were born at full term; this risk increased to 9 percent for women born prematurely. Other factors that predicted a higher risk of having a spontaneous premature delivery included low socioeconomic status, smoking history, age younger than 20, body mass index of 19 kg/m2 or less, and having previously given birth to a premature infant.

"Management of spontaneous preterm labor has mainly relied on interventions to delay delivery long enough to allow antenatal corticosteroid administration. Although these have reduced perinatal mortality and morbidity, it is necessary to understand the causes of spontaneous preterm birth and identify populations at risk before any targeted therapeutic interventions can be planned," the authors write.

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