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HEALTH
February 10, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Prenatal surgery for the most severe form of the birth defect spina bifida doubled the number of children who were able to walk unassisted by the age of 30 months and halved the percentage who had to have shunts implanted after birth to remove water from the brain, researchers reported Wednesday. The surgery, however, presented some risks to both children and mothers: Infants were more likely to be born preterm and mothers suffered a thinning of the uterine wall that would require all future births to end in a caesarean section.
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NEWS
August 18, 2010
There are so many things you're not supposed to eat or drink when you're pregnant -- sushi, Caesar salad, blue cheese, lox, coffee and, of course, alcohol. Now researchers have added a new item to that list -- diet soda. It seems that regular consumption of carbonated beverages made with artificial sweeteners significantly increases the risk of preterm delivery (defined as giving birth after fewer than 37 weeks of pregnancy). Women who drank at least one diet soda per day were 38% more likely to have their baby early compared to women who abstained.
HEALTH
August 2, 2004 | Valerie Ulene, Special to The Times
Pediatricians who specialize in the treatment of premature infants have made remarkable gains. Twenty years ago, a baby born 12 weeks early in the United States would have had little chance of surviving; today, that baby's chances of survival are more than 90%. In spite of this progress, the issue of prematurity remains a great concern because the number of children born too early is on the rise. Between 1981 and 2002, the rate of premature births in the United States increased almost 30%.
SCIENCE
October 16, 2008 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
After a century of declines, the U.S. infant mortality rate barely budged between 2000 and 2005, causing the United States to slip further behind other developed countries despite spending more on healthcare, according to a report released Wednesday. The rate was 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, virtually unchanged from 6.89 in 2000. In 1900, the rate was 100 deaths per 1,000 live births.
SCIENCE
May 11, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
For the first time in three decades, the rate of premature births in the United States has declined for two years in a row, a finding that suggests the country is finally beginning to make some progress in the battle against prematurity. The declines were widespread and encompassing, including babies of mothers in all age groups under 40, all ethnicities, singleton and multiple births, vaginal and caesarean births, and every state except Hawaii, according to the report issued Tuesday by the government's National Center for Health Statistics.
BUSINESS
September 5, 1990 | LESLIE BERKMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tokos Medical Corp. on Tuesday concluded a $31.4-million acquisition of a small Atlanta-based firm that it hopes will be the first to win federal approval to market a uterine monitoring device to detect pre-term labor. The completion of the merger with Physiologic Diagnostic Service, first announced in June, was delayed pending completion of a Federal Trade Commission review of the deal's antitrust implications.
SCIENCE
March 27, 2004 | From Reuters
A developing fetus may signal when it is ready to be born by releasing a chemical produced by the lungs, according to a new study by U.S. researchers. The study, done in mice, suggests that in mammals, readiness to breathe outside the mother's womb might be the main factor in determining when it is time to be born. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr.
HEALTH
June 19, 2006
Re: "Get Healthy, Then Get Pregnant" [June 5]: I am disappointed that your article never advised women who are planning to get pregnant to get a dental examination to ensure that there is no periodontal [gum] disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a chronic bacterial infection that can increase the risk of preterm birth. Overall, studies have concluded that pregnant women who have moderate to severe periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to deliver a premature child than women with healthy gums.
SCIENCE
October 1, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Pregnant white women who have abnormally low cholesterol levels are 21% more likely to give birth preterm, and both white and black women with low levels give birth to babies who weigh less than other infants of the same gestational age, researchers report today. Obstetricians already knew that women with the highest cholesterol levels are more likely to give birth preterm, but this is the first evidence of risk at the other end of the spectrum, experts said.
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