advertisement
29 June 2012

Smallest, Largest Foetuses at Higher Risk of Stillbirth

Foetuses at the extremes of weight – either very small or very large – have a greater risk of being stillborn than babies of more average weight, a new study indicates.

0

Problems with placenta to blame for small babies, while maternal diabetes, obesity can mean large babies

Foetuses at the extremes of weight – either very small or very large – have a greater risk of being stillborn than babies of more average weight, a new study indicates.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Ontario examined records of about 767,000 live births and nearly 4,700 stillbirths that occurred in Ontario between 2002 and 2007. Stillbirth is typically defined as a foetus that dies at the 23rd week of gestation or later and weighing at least 0.5kg, though this research included foetuses that died at 20 weeks or later.

About 19% of stillbirths occurred in foetuses below the tenth percentile for weight, meaning they are smaller than 90% of foetuses.

Smallest foetuses face bigger risk

The smallest foetuses faced an even bigger risk. Being among the smallest 1% put foetuses at a nearly 10 times higher risk of stillbirth than average weight babies, or those in the 40th to 60th weight percentiles.

Very large foetuses also faced some added risks. About 1% of stillbirths occurred among foetuses in the top 1% for weight.

"In this study of all registered live-born and stillborn infants in Ontario, extreme underweight and overweight states confer the highest risk of stillbirth," study authors Drs Joel Ray and Marcelo Urquia, said in a hospital news release.

Small foetuses are often due to a faulty placenta, while maternal diabetes and obesity often leads to very large foetuses. The rate of stillbirth in industrialised countries is about six per 1,000.

The study was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

(HealthDay News, June 2012) 

Read more:

2.6 million stillbirths a year worldwide

Stillbirths devastating on all

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Hello? »

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time?

SEE: Do women hear better than men?

The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you.

Confident smile? »

Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth?

Why are my teeth stained?

We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?