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Birth Risks Higher on Weekends

Risk of stillbirth, early neonatal death lower on weekdays, Canadian study finds

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The risk of stillbirth or early neonatal death is greater among infants delivered on weekends in Canada, says a study in the new issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Dr. Michael Kramer, of the department of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University in Montreal, and his colleagues examined data from more than 3 million births recorded in Canada between 1985 and 1998.

They wanted to determine if delivery in a country with universal health care was riskier on weekends.

The study concluded the risk of stillbirth and early neonatal death was about 6 percent greater on weekends compared to weekdays. That difference was less when the researchers factored in the length of gestation, which is a known risk factor for stillbirth and neonatal death.

The researchers write that this reduction in excess risk after adjustment for gestational age can likely be explained by the selective timing of low-risk elective deliveries, most of which are scheduled on weekdays.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about stillbirth.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, news release, Feb. 2, 2004
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