Obstetrics & gynaecology

Calm the immune system, halt premature birth

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death and disability in the U.S., and costs billions in dollars and heartache every year. Now, University of Connecticut researchers report in Reproductive Sciences a potential ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Preterm birth: The 'Nodal' gene under the microscope

Preterm birth is a major global public health problem. Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely and many will suffer from neurodegenerative disorders, including cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, impaired vision, ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Blood test for pregnant women can predict premature birth

A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75-80 percent accuracy whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth. The technique can also be used to estimate a fetus's gestational age—or the mother's due date—as ...

Cardiology

Premature hearts less able to cope with exercise

The hearts of people born prematurely are less able to cope with the pressures of exercise in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and part-funded by the British ...

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Preterm birth

In humans, preterm birth refers to the birth of a baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age. Premature birth, commonly used as a synonym for preterm birth, refers to the birth of a premature infant. Because it is by far the most common cause of prematurity, preterm birth is the major cause of neonatal mortality in developed countries. Premature infants are at greater risk for short and long term complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth and mental development. Significant progress has been made in the care of premature infants, but not in reducing the prevalence of preterm birth. The cause for preterm birth is in many situations elusive and unknown; many factors appear to be associated with the development of preterm birth, making the reduction of preterm birth a challenging proposition.

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