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New method to prevent premature births

Published tisdag 16 december 2014 kl 17.06
Sweden has a comparatively low infant mortality rate. Photo: J.K. Califf/https://flic.kr/p/5pDvso (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sweden has a comparatively low infant mortality rate. Photo: J.K. Califf/https://flic.kr/p/5pDvso (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new pre-natal screening method could lead to fewer premature births, as well as lower mortality and illness among infants. The method will be tested on 11,000 women in Sweden.

The method uses ultrasound to measure the length of the cervix. Two previous studies have shown the method to work and a treatment with progesterone has proven effective to lower the risk of illness and mortality.

The scientists will use different reference points for measurements to find what works best for Sweden, since the country differs from the countries in the study in a number of areas. Sweden has a lower infant mortality rate for babies born preterm, as well as different population composition and socioeconomic conditions than the countries where the method has previously been tested.

The method will be tested on 11,000 women at six Swedish hospital over a two-year period.

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