Late Preterm, Early Term Birth Rates Down in the United States

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Late Preterm, Early Term Birth Rates Down in the United States
Late Preterm, Early Term Birth Rates Down in the United States

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Late preterm and early term birth rates decreased from 2006 to 2014 in the United States and some other high-income countries, according to research published online July 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a retrospective analysis of singleton live births from 2006 to the latest available year, Jennifer L. Richards, M.P.H., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues identified recent trends in late preterm and early term birth rates in six high-income countries.

The researchers observed a decrease in late preterm births in Norway and the United States, while early term birth rates decreased in Norway, Sweden, and the United States. In the United States, there were decreases in early term births among births with clinician-initiated obstetric intervention (33.0 to 21.1 percent) and among births without clinician-initiated obstetric intervention (from 29.7 to 27.1 percent). The rates of clinician-initiated obstetric intervention increased in Canada, Denmark, and Finland for late preterm births and in Denmark and Finland for early term births.

"Between 2006 and 2014, late preterm and early term birth rates decreased in the United States, and an association was observed between early term birth rates and decreasing clinician-initiated obstetric interventions," the authors write. "Clinician-initiated obstetric interventions increased in some countries but no association was found with rates of late preterm or early term birth."

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