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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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 1, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
The rate of premature births dropped slightly in the United States last year, but the country still has a ways to go before reaching the March of Dimes' goal of only 9.6% of babies born prematurely. Preliminary figures for 2012 show that 11.5% of births in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico occurred before pregnancies reached 37 weeks of gestation. That's a 15-year low and the sixth consecutive year of decline, according to the March of Dimes. The nonprofit organization, which focuses on pregnancy and baby health, estimates that about 176,000 fewer babies have been born premature since 2006, when the rate of preterm births peaked at 12.8% nationwide.
Gov. Pete Wilson's recent executive order that could deny prenatal care to the state's illegal immigrants is "penny-wise and pound-foolish" given the number of pre-term births that could be prevented with access to care, according to an expert in premature births. "It's going to end up costing the state a lot more money. You'll have a lot more expensive preemies in the nursery and a lot of suffering to go along with that," said Dr.
February 17, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued its strongest warning against the use of a drug prescribed off-label to prevent preterm labor, saying it appears to be ineffective at delaying premature births and poses serious health risks for pregnant woman who take it for longer than 72 hours. The warning comes less than two weeks after the FDA approved a new drug , called Makena, to reduce the risk of premature delivery. One in eight babies born in the U.S. each year -- 543,000 -- is born prematurely, says the March of Dimes . Terbutaline , commercially marketed as Brethine and Bricanyl, is a drug approved for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, sometimes called emphysema.
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