Premature mums more likely to have early babies
Scientists have found that women who were born prematurely or who have siblings who were early are around 60% more likely to give birth prematurely themselves.
The study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen looked at the maternity records of 22, 343 Scottish mums and daughters. They hope their work will help others predict and plan for high-risk preemie births.
Premature birth is the biggest cause of death in newborns and is associated with long-term health conditions such as cerebral palsy.
“Our research supports a genetic predisposition to preterm birth,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya. “Further research should focus on the identification of candidate genes for the condition,” she added.
Mums who were born early were found to be 60% more likely to give birth prematurely with their first child. Their risk in further pregnancies went down to 50%.
“We welcome any research that helps us better understand the causes of preterm birth and identify those at high risk,’ said Andy Cole, Chief Executive of Bliss, the special care baby charity.