Combating a crisis: Global burden of preterm birth can be reduced if critical actions are taken
New surveys of researchers and funders reveal a lack of consensus regarding researching and developing interventions to prevent prematurity and stillbirth, according to an article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology ahead of World Prematurity Day on November 17.
Authored by Michael G. Gravett, MD, scientific director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), an initiative of Seattle Children's, and Craig E. Rubens, MD, PhD, executive director of GAPPS, the article outlines significant opportunities to enhance research into pregnancy complications and develop solutions to prevent prematurity and stillbirth, which combined take the lives of 4 million babies every year.
"One of the main observations from the technical team was that current research funding is fragmented and uncoordinated, lacking central leadership," the authors write in A framework for strategic investments in research to reduce the global burden of preterm birth. "Funders do not understand where the field is going."
Gravett and Rubens surveyed researchers and funders and found that both parties are equally uncertain about research and development projects that need to be undertaken, and many funders are hard-pressed to support research on the complex problems of pregnancy and childbirth given competing priorities. This lack of consensus provides an opportunity to engage with funders and researchers to recognize the importance of understanding healthy pregnancies and the consequences of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The article proposes that a strategic alliance of funders, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and others could organize a set of grand challenges centered on pregnancy and childbirth that could yield a substantial improvement in the development and delivery of new and much more effective interventions, even in low-resource settings.
The authors note: "Pregnancy remains one of the least explored aspects of human biology, creating a tremendous opportunity. Long-term funding commitments for research could advance discovery science and the development of interventions targeted at pregnancy and early life and impact maternal and newborn health around the world."
Preterm birth and stillbirth are among the greatest health burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Fifteen million babies are born preterm each year, causing about 1 million deaths annually and lifelong problems for many survivors; 3 million stillbirths also occur annually. Worldwide, the number of women and children who die during pregnancy and childbirth exceeds the total number of births in the United States. Even if all current interventions were universally applied, the authors estimate that the preterm birthrate would drop by less than 20 percent.
Based on their interviews, the authors compiled a set of recommendations that could greatly improve the visibility of research on pregnancy, childbirth, and early life, and mobilize funders to increase investments leading to the discovery, development, and delivery of low-cost and high-impact interventions to prevent preterm birth and stillbirth.
Toward making every pregnancy a healthy pregnancy:
- Emphasize that healthy outcomes in pregnancy benefit everyone, directly and indirectly
- Raise awareness of personal and public burden of prematurity, stillbirth, and other pregnancy and early life problems
- Establish strategic alliance of funders, researchers, and other stakeholders in areas of pregnancy, childbirth, and early life
- Identify commonalities among funding organizations to develop a coordinated research and intervention agenda
- Identify and promote research opportunities in areas of pregnancy, childbirth, and early life that can attract investigators
- Engage new investigators from multiple disciplines
- Utilize descriptive sciences and economic modeling to establish true costs and burdens of disease and assess impact of costs of current or future interventions
- Establish collaborations and promote research within high-burden, low-resource countries
- Develop and adopt clear and consistent definitions and classification criteria
- Longitudinally characterize determinants of healthy continuum pregnancy and pathologic perturbations
- Recognize preterm birth and stillbirth as multifactorial, complex endpoints
- Develop predictive biomarkers and interventions that are pathway-specific for varied causes of preterm birth and stillbirth
- Develop infrastructure to support population-specific research and intervention in high-burden, low-resource settings
- Link discovery science to intervention development and implementation science
Journal reference: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Provided by Seattle Children's Research Institute
- Experts call for acceleration of research and interventions for prematurity and stillbirth Feb 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- New global report says US lags behind 130 other nations in preterm birth rate May 02, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Preterm birth rate shows three year improvement in most states Nov 01, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- US preterm birth rate under 12 percent, the lowest level in nearly a decade Nov 17, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Most pregnancy-related infections are caused by four treatable conditions Oct 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
7 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
Is energy convertible to matter?
9 hours ago Can we convert energy to matter?
Rotating electron as a dipole is this right?
11 hours ago An electron as shown by the Stern Gerlach experiment behaves like a dipole (albeit only in one of two states). I have been trying to figure out how...
Dipole term in multipole expansion
15 hours ago Hi. I'm having some difficult in understanding something about the dipole term in a multipole expansion. Griffiths writes the expansion as a sum of...
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
17 hours ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
May 21, 2013 Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children, published in The Lancet, has revealed that iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children's mental development. The research raises concerns that t ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Nearly three out of four pregnant women experience constipation, diarrhea or other bowel disorders during their pregnancies, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
New research indicates that women's reproductive function may be tied to their immune status. Previous studies have found this association in human males, but not females.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Elsevier today announced the publication of a recent study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online on 5-day old human blastocysts showing that those with an abnormal chromosomal composition can be identified by the rate at whic ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
While global attention has for decades been focused on reducing maternal mortality, population-based data on other causes of death among women of reproductive age has been virtually non-existent. A study conducted by researchers ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
42 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
18 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
16 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (14) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
18 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
12 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |