Pre-term births higher among deprived women

Women from deprived areas are still twice as likely to suffer a pre-term birth as women from affluent areas, despite improvements in obstetric care services, a BMJ study suggests.

Research highlights the need to understand the link between deprivation and risk of pre-term birth (Photo credit: SPL)
Research highlights the need to understand the link between deprivation and risk of pre-term birth (Photo credit: SPL)

The research team, from the University of Leicester, say that the findings highlight an urgent need to better understand the link between deprivation and risk of pre-term birth.

For the study, the research team tracked 7,449 very pre-term infants, born between 1998-2007 in the former Trent region of England, from the onset of labour until discharge from neonatal care.

A deprivation score was calculated for each infant using postcode data.

Overall, mothers from the most deprived areas were nearly twice as likely to have a very pre-term infant compared with those from the least deprived areas, and consequently there were nearly twice as many deaths due to very pre-term birth in the most deprived areas.

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