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Health Tip: Risk Factors for Premature Birth

Potential causes of early labor

(HealthDay News) -- Premature birth is defined as any baby born at fewer than 37 weeks' gestation.

Here's a list of potential triggers of early labor, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • Diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease.
  • An infection.
  • Insufficient prenatal care.
  • An unhealthy diet.
  • Preeclampsia, a condition occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy and characterized by high blood pressure and abnormal protein in the urine.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Becoming pregnant at age 17 or younger.
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