(Press-News.org) The authors say spotting it early could substantially reduce the risk, and this needs to become a cornerstone of safety and effectiveness in antenatal care.
Stillbirth rates in the United Kingdom are among the highest in developed countries. They have often been considered unexplained and unavoidable, and their rates have changed little over the last two decades.
Recently, doctors have found that many stillborn babies fail to reach their growth potential, prompting a renewed focus on what causes fetal growth restriction. So a team of researchers at the West Midlands Perinatal Institute in Birmingham set out to assess the main risk factors associated with stillbirth in a multiethnic population.
Using NHS records, they identified 92,218 normally formed singleton babies, including 389 stillbirths, from 24 weeks of gestation, delivered during 2009-11 (a stillbirth rate of 4.2 per 1,000 births). They then assessed several maternal and fetal risk factors for stillbirth and calculated the proportion of stillbirths that could be potentially avoided if these risks were removed.
These included mother's age, parity (the number of times she had given birth), body mass index, mental health history, pre-existing diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, smoking in pregnancy, alcohol consumption, and fetal growth problems.
First, third and subsequent pregnancies were associated with an increased risk of stillbirth compared with second pregnancies, but high maternal age carried no increased risk in this population which excluded congenital anomalies. Ethnicity (African, African-Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani) carried a higher risk, as did deprivation and unemployment of the mother or her partner.
Maternal obesity (BMI of 30 or more), smoking, pre-existing diabetes, a history of mental health problems, and fetal growth restriction were all associated with a significantly increased risk.
As potentially modifiable risk factors, maternal obesity, smoking in pregnancy and fetal growth restriction together accounted for 56% of all stillbirths.
However, the strongest risk factor was fetal growth restriction, which carried a fourfold higher risk of stillbirth compared with normal growth pregnancies. This increased to an eightfold risk if it was not detected during pregnancy, accounting for 32% of all stillbirths in the study.
Yet the authors point out that the presence of fetal growth restriction is currently missed in most pregnancies.
They estimate that 71 stillbirths in their study population could have been avoided through better antenatal recognition. Extrapolated to the UK population, this would represent 600 fewer stillbirths per year.
"Our study shows that while there are several risk factors for stillbirth that can be ascertained from the outset of pregnancy, the single largest factor is fetal growth restriction, which is currently not well predicted and not recognised antenatally in most pregnancies," say the authors. "Most normally formed singleton stillbirths are potentially avoidable … and preventive strategies need to focus on improving antenatal detection," they conclude.
In an accompanying editorial, two experts from the University of Auckland say this study adds "important new insights" about modifiable risk factors for stillbirth, but that efforts to improve detection of fetal growth restriction must be intensified.
Spotting fetal growth problems early could cut UK stillbirths by 600 a year
Detection before birth must become a cornerstone of antenatal care
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Scientists discover how epigenetic information could be inherited
New research reveals a potential way for how parents' experiences could be passed to their offspring's genes. The research was published today, 25 January, in the journal Science. Epigenetics is a system that turns our genes on and off. The process works by chemical tags, known as epigenetic marks, attaching to DNA and telling a cell to either use or ignore a particular gene. The most common epigenetic mark is a methyl group. When these groups fasten to DNA through a process called methylation they block the attachment of proteins which normally turn the genes on. ...
Researchers discover new mutations driving malignant melanoma
BOSTON—Two new mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors have been discovered in what scientists call the "dark matter" of the cancer genome, where cancer-related mutations haven't been previously found. Reporting their findings in the Jan. 24 issue of Science Express, the researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute said the highly "recurrent" mutations – occurring in the tumors of many people – may be the most common mutations in melanoma cells found to date. The researchers said these cancer-associated ...
Red explosions: The secret life of binary stars is revealed
(Edmonton) A University of Alberta professor has revealed the workings of a celestial event involving binary stars that results in an explosion so powerful it ranks close to Supernovae in luminosity. Astrophysicists have long debated about what happens when binary stars, two stars that orbit one another, come together in a common envelope. When this dramatic cannibalizing event ends there are two possible outcomes; the two stars merge into a single star or an initial binary transforms in an exotic short-period one. The event is believed to take anywhere from a dozen ...
Gene sequencing project mines data once considered 'junk' for clues about cancer
(MEMPHIS, Tenn. – January 24, 2013) Genome sequencing data once regarded as junk is now being used to gain important clues to help understand disease. The latest example comes from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, where scientists have developed an approach to mine the repetitive segments of DNA at the ends of chromosomes for insights into cancer. These segments, known as telomeres, had previously been ignored in next-generation sequencing efforts. That is because their repetitive nature meant that the ...
Newly discovered 'scarecrow' gene might trigger big boost in food production
ITHACA, N.Y. – With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humanity faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today. Cornell University researchers have taken a leap toward meeting those needs by discovering a gene that could lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50 percent higher yields. The gene, called Scarecrow, is the first discovered to control a special leaf structure, known as Kranz anatomy, which leads to more efficient photosynthesis. Plants photosynthesize ...
The storm that never was: Why the weatherman is often wrong
Have you ever woken up to a sunny forecast only to get soaked on your way to the office? On days like that it's easy to blame the weatherman. But BYU mechanical engineering professor Julie Crockett doesn't get mad at meteorologists. She understands something that very few people know: it's not the weatherman's fault he's wrong so often. According to Crockett, forecasters make mistakes because the models they use for predicting weather can't accurately track highly influential elements called internal waves. Atmospheric internal waves are waves that propagate between ...
Prenatal inflammation linked to autism risk
Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found this in children of mothers with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-established marker of systemic inflammation. The risk of autism among children in the study was increased by 43 percent among mothers with CRP levels in the top 20th percentile, and by 80 percent for maternal CRP in the top 10th ...
Virginia Tech computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks
In biology, molecules can have multi-way interactions within cells, and until recently, computational analysis of these links has been "incomplete," according to T. M. Murali, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. His group authored an article on their new approach to address these shortcomings, titled "Reverse Engineering Molecular Hypergraphs," that received the Best Paper Award at the recent 2012 ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Biomedicine. Intricate networks of connections among molecules ...
'Cool' kids in middle school bully more, UCLA psychologists report
Bullying, whether it's physical aggression or spreading rumors, boosts the social status and popularity of middle school students, according to a new UCLA psychology study that has implications for programs aimed at combatting school bullying. In addition, students already considered popular engage in these forms of bullying, the researchers found. The psychologists studied 1,895 ethnically diverse students from 99 classes at 11 Los Angeles middle schools. They conducted surveys at three points: during the spring of seventh grade, the fall of eighth grade and the spring ...
A blend of soy and dairy proteins promotes muscle protein synthesis when consumed after exercise
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 24, 2013 – A new study published in The Journal of Nutrition demonstrates the benefits of consuming a protein blend for muscle protein synthesis after exercise. This study is a first-of-its-kind, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and utilizes the proteins from soy, whey and casein consumed after an acute bout of resistance exercise. These proteins have complementary amino acid profiles and different digestion rates (amino acid release profiles). The results demonstrate prolonged delivery of amino acids to muscles and ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
Tracing how the infant brain responds to touch with near-infrared spectroscopy
These are the world's most effective charities
When is an aurora not an aurora?
Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for US government investments in particle physics research
Doctors discover many patients at UNC’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic screen positive for malnutrition
BNL: Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for U.S. government investments in particle physics research
International collaboration uses faculty member’s research on ancient Roman migration, seeks to understand Balkan genomic history
USF Health Heart Institute doctors are upbeat about cardiac regeneration
AI-driven breakthroughs in cells study: SFU-UBC collaboration introduces "MCS-detect" for advancements in super-resolution microscopy
Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for investments in particle physics research
$3.8 million NIH grant to fund Southwest Center on Resilience for Climate Change and Health
What happens when the brain loses a hub?
Study reveals Zika’s shape-shifting machinery—and a possible vulnerability
RIT leading STEM co-mentoring network
Genetic mutations that promote reproduction tend to shorten human lifespan, study shows
CAMH develops potential new drug treatment for multiple sclerosis
Polyethylene waste could be a thing of the past
A dynamic picture of how we respond to high or low oxygen levels
University of Toronto researchers discover new lipid nanoparticle that shows muscle-specific mRNA delivery, reduces off-target effects.
Evolving insights in blood-based liquid biopsies for prostate cancer interrogation
Finding the most heat-resistant substances ever made
Time-tested magnesium oxide: Unveiling CO2 absorption dynamics
Engaging heterosexual men more effectively could slash HIV infections in Uganda
A fork in the rhod: Janelia researchers unveil comprehensive collection of rhodamine-based fluorescent dyes
The Gerontological Society of America congratulates new 2023 awardees
Texas A&M Institute part of national effort to harness nuclear laser fusion for limitless energy
How health system hesitancies contributed to COVID risks
Stand Up to Cancer names Julian Adams, Ph.D., President and CEO
Immersive VR goggles for mice unlock new potential for brain science
Racial and ethnic differences in hospice use among Medicaid-only and dual-eligible decedents[Press-News.org] Spotting fetal growth problems early could cut UK stillbirths by 600 a year
Detection before birth must become a cornerstone of antenatal care