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Preterm Delivery Ups Risk for Premature Mortality in Mothers

Risk for all-cause mortality up in 10 years after delivery and still elevated at 10 to 19, 20 to 44 years

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Preterm delivery is associated with an increased risk for premature mortality in women, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in The BMJ.

Casey Crump, M.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues conducted a national cohort study involving 2,189,477 women with a singleton delivery in 1973 to 2015 to examine all-cause and cause-specific mortality up to 2016.

The researchers found that 3.5 percent of women died (median age at death, 57.6 years) in 50.7 million person-years of follow-up. The adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality associated with preterm delivery (<37 weeks) was 1.73 in the 10 years after delivery; when further stratified, the adjusted hazard ratios were 2.20, 2.28, 1.52, and 1.19 for extremely preterm delivery, very preterm delivery, late preterm delivery, and early preterm delivery compared with full-term delivery. After longer follow-up times, these risks declined but remained significantly elevated, with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.45 and 1.37 at 10 to 19 and 20 to 44 years after delivery, respectively. Several causes of mortality were identified, including cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, diabetes, and cancer.

“Premature delivery should now be recognized as a risk factor for early mortality in women,” the authors write. “Better access to high quality preconception and prenatal care should also be a public health priority to help reduce preterm delivery.”

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