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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.
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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
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%.
HEALTH
July 11, 2011 | By Olga Khazan, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When most pregnant women go into labor, they pack their bags for the hospital. When Lara Carlos felt the contractions in November 2008, she set up a birthing tub in her bedroom. For the next several hours, Carlos alternated between padding around her home and squatting and pushing in the tub. Her midwife poured water down her back and dabbed her forehead with cold towels. When the baby (they chose the name Vincent) arrived at 1:21 a.m., he spent his first few hours cuddling with his parents in their bed. Carlos, who lives in Redlands, is one of a small but growing number of women who are choosing to deliver their babies at home.
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.
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
July 12, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Cigarette smoking hit the lowest point ever recorded among American eighth-graders, high school sophomores and seniors last year, a newly released report shows. Last year, only 5% of high school sophomores said they had smoked cigarettes daily in the last 30 days, compared with 18% of sophomores who were smoking daily at one point in the 1990s. The numbers have also plunged for eighth-graders and high school seniors, hitting their lowest point since the surveys began. The change is just one of the findings in a vast new report on the well-being of American children, compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
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.
SCIENCE
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.
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