Author(s): Baroutis G, Mousiolis A, Mesogitis S, Costalos C, Antsaklis A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To identify preterm birth trends in Greece. DESIGN: Retrospective epidemiological study. SETTING: Women giving birth in Greece from 1980 to 2008. POPULATION: Live births beyond the 24th gestational week. METHODS: Data acquisition from the Hellenic Vital Statistics records. Statistical analysis of preterm birth rate among neonates estimated for each year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total number of births and preterm births, as well as rate of preterm birth by gestational week. Stillbirth rates by gestational age. RESULTS: 3 218 463 births occurred during the period under study, 151 594 (4.7\%) of which were preterm. A steep rise in preterm births was noted during the final years of the study, reaching 9.6\% in 2008. This was mainly due to the "late preterm" sub-group (34(+0) -36(+6) gestational weeks). The rates of stillbirth fell in a constant way regardless of the maturity index. CONCLUSIONS: Although preterm birth etiology is multifactorial, the selective rise in the "late preterm" group possibly was due to an increase in medical reasons necessitating a preterm delivery, changes in obstetric practice, or both. Further studies are needed to estimate the precise effect of each contributing factor. © 2013 The Authors Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica © 2013 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This article was published in Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology