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Dean S.V.,Albert Einstein Medical Center | Mason E.M.,World Health Organization | Howson C.P.,March of Dimes Foundation | Lassi Z.S.,Aga Khan University | And 2 more authors.
Reproductive Health | Year: 2013

Providing care to adolescent girls and women before and between pregnancies improves their own health and wellbeing, as well as pregnancy and newborn outcomes, and can also reduce the rates of preterm birth. This paper has reviewed the evidence based interventions and services for preventing preterm births; reported the findings from research priority exercise; and prescribed actions for taking this call further. Certain factors in the preconception period have been shown to increase the risk for prematurity and, therefore, preconception care services for all women of reproductive age should address these risk factors through preventing adolescent pregnancy, preventing unintended pregnancies, promoting optimal birth spacing, optimizing pre-pregnancy weight and nutritional status (including a folic acid containing multivitamin supplement, and ensuring that all adolescent girls have received complete vaccination. Preconception care must also address risk factors that may be applicable to only some women. These include screening for and management of chronic diseases, especially diabetes; sexually-transmitted infections; tobacco and smoke exposure; mental health disorders, notably depression; and intimate partner violence. The approach to research in preconception care to prevent preterm births should include a cycle of development and delivery research that evaluates how best to scale up coverage of existing, evidence-based interventions, epidemiologic research that assesses the impact of implementing these interventions, and discovery science that better elucidates the complex causal pathway of preterm birth and helps to develop new screening and intervention tools. In addition to research, policy and financial investment is crucial to increasing opportunities to implement preconception care, and rates of prematurity should be included as a tracking indicator in global and national maternal child health assessments. Declaration. This article is part of a supplement jointly funded by Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme through a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and March of Dimes Foundation and published in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The original article was published in PDF format in the WHO Report Born Too Soon: the global action report on preterm birth (ISBN 978 92 4 150343 30). The article has been reformatted for journal publication and has undergone peer review according to Reproductive Health's standard process for supplements and may feature some variations in content when compared to the original report. This co-publication makes the article available to the community in a full-text format. © 2013 Dean et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Muglia L.J.,Vanderbilt University | Muglia L.J.,Monroe Hospital | Katz M.,March of Dimes Foundation
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2010

The world's preterm birth rate continues to increase. In 2006, preterm births accounted for 12.8% of live births in the United States. Only about half the cases of prematurity result from identifiable causes. This review discusses the challenge of understanding the causes of premature birth and finding ways to prevent it. Copyright © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Walani S.R.,March of Dimes Foundation | Cleland C.M.,New York University
Nurse Researcher | Year: 2015

Aim To illustrate with the example of a secondary data analysis study the use of the multiple imputation method to replace missing data. Background Most large public datasets have missing data, which need to be handled by researchers conducting secondary data analysis studies. Multiple imputation is a technique widely used to replace missing values while preserving the sample size and sampling variability of the data. Data source The 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. Review methods The authors created a model to impute missing values using the chained equation method. They used imputation diagnostics procedures and conducted regression analysis of imputed data to determine the differences between the log hourly wages of internationally educated and US-educated registered nurses. Discussion The authors used multiple imputation procedures to replace missing values in a large dataset with 29,059 observations. Five multiple imputed datasets were created. Imputation diagnostics using time series and density plots showed that imputation was successful. The authors also present an example of the use of multiple imputed datasets to conduct regression analysis to answer a substantive research question. Conclusion Multiple imputation is a powerful technique for imputing missing values in large datasets while preserving the sample size and variance of the data. Even though the chained equation method involves complex statistical computations, recent innovations in software and computation have made it possible for researchers to conduct this technique on large datasets. Implications for research/practice The authors recommend nurse researchers use multiple imputation methods for handling missing data to improve the statistical power and external validity of their studies.

Simpson J.L.,March of Dimes Foundation
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2012

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis provides prenatal genetic diagnosis before implantation, thus allowing detection of chromosomal abnormalities and their exclusion from embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technologies. Polar body, blastomere or trophectoderm can each be used to obtain requisite genetic or embryonic DNA. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for excluding unbalanced translocations is well accepted, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis aneuploidy testing to avoid repeated pregnancy losses in couples having recurrent aneuploidy is efficacious in reducing miscarriages. Controversy remains about whether pre-implantation genetic diagnosis aneuploidy testing improves take home pregnancy rates, for which reason adherence to specific indications is recommended while the issue is being adjudicated. Current recommendations are for obligatory 24 chromosome testing, most readily using array comparative genome hybridisation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Simpson J.L.,March of Dimes Foundation
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2013

Biomarkers can be employed for screening for fetal genetic disorders, identifying individuals at sufficiently high risk for a confirmatory invasive procedure. In this article we discuss prenatal genetic aneuploidy screening. Maternal serum analytes and ultrasound have long been routinely offered, providing detection rates of 80% to 93% for trisomy 21; however, an invasive procedure (false-positive) must be performed in 5% of pregnancies screened. Recovering fetal cells from maternal blood initially proved inconsistent, but new methods recovering trophoblasts offer promise for detecting disorders using a single fetal cell, analogous to preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Current emphasis is focused predominantly on cell-free fetal DNA, which accounts for 5% to 10% of total cell-free DNA in maternal blood. Analysis of maternal blood results in detection rates of over 99% for fetal trisomy 21, and also very high rates for trisomy 18 and sex chromosomal abnormalities. Such detection rates are substantively higher than with maternal serum analytes, and are accompanied by a much lower (<1%) false-positive rate. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Published by Elsevier Inc.

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