Nearly 10,000 preterm births could have been prevented in 2002 if all pregnant women at high risk for a premature baby and eligible for weekly injections of a derivative of the hormone progesterone had received them, according to a new study published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The result would have been a reduction in the overall rate of preterm birth (before 37 completed weeks gestation) in the United States of about 2 percent -- from the 2002 rate of 12.1 percent to 11.8 percent -- say Joann R. Petrini, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the March of Dimes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center in New York, and the New Jersey and Missouri State Departments of Health who participated in the analyses.
The hormone derivative is known as 17P, short for 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate.
Michele Kling | EurekAlert!
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