Facts & Figures - a quick look

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Globally preterm birth accounts for over 9.5% of all births.  This means that over 13 million babies are born too soon every year.


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90% of Preemies survive

Thirty years ago less than 25% of the tiniest preemies were surviving, now almost 90% survive.  Learning about preterm birth can help increase awareness of the unique needs of preemies and their families.

Here you can find out about General Statistics and Preemie Outcomes. Make sure to have a look...


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SES & Preterm Birth Statistics

With survival rates and outcomes for preemies continually improving it is still important to identify the issues that come an increased risk of a premature birth.

In general the incidence of premature birth is increasing. Some countries have maintained a rate of premature birth and others have continued to increase. The increase in the rate of premature birth can be attributed to several reasons ranging from IVF use to Socioeconomic status (SES).

Incidence of Premature Birth by Socioeconomic Status

Where you come from and what you do, can play a significant role in the course of a pregnancy, the type of risk factors you may be exposed to, and the outcomes of an unborn baby. Socioeconomic Status as it is known can give us an insight into who is at risk for delivery of a premature baby.

Some researchers have reported substantial socioeconomic inequalities in the incidence of very premature birth, particularly in countries with unequal access to health care, such as the United States, with nearly double the incidence in more deprived women compared with the least deprived. There have been substantial rises in the incidence of very premature birth over the last 10 years, which have been attributed to increases in preterm birth in the lower socioeconomic brackets.

Below are socioeconomic status statistics from around the world. We will continue to add to this list, so if your country is not listed let us know what country you are interested in and we'll do our best to acquire the relevant information. 

Premature birth & SES statistics from Australia

In 2005 women who gave birth and were in the least disadvantaged quintile (5th Quintile) were older, less likely to be Indigenous, and less likely to smoke during pregnancy, compared with women in the other quintiles Premature birth and low birth weight were less likely in the least disadvantaged quintile

Note:

1st Quintile = Most disadvantaged

5th Quintile = Least disadvantaged

Quintile of
Socioeconomic disadvantage
1st
Quintile
2nd
Quintile
3rd
Quintile
4th
Quintile
5th
Quintile
Premature Births 8.7% 8.4% 8.1% 8.0% 7.1%
Low Birth Weight 7.2% 6.6% 6.4% 6.1% 5.6%
{Laws, 2007 #307}

Premature birth & SES statistics from the United Kindom

Areas of high deprivation have high rates of neonatal and infant mortality. Women from deprived areas have an increased risk of delivering a baby very premature (< 32 weeks’ gestation)

Note: the table below describes the incidence of very premature birth.

Quintile of
Socioeconomic disadvantage
1st
Quintile
2nd
Quintile
3rd
Quintile
4th
Quintile
5th
Quintile
per 1000 births 18.1 16.0 13.1 11.7 9.5
{Smith, 2007}

 


Technical Reference List

Shingairai, A. F., Siobon, D. H., & Godfrey, B. W. (2004). Risk factors for prematurity at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 1194-1201.
Leung, T. N., Roach, V. J., & Lau, T. K. (1998). Incidence of preterm delivery in Hong Kong Chinese. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, 38(2), 138-141.
Morken, N.-H., Kallen, K., Hagberg, H., & Jacobsson, B. (2005). Preterm birth in Sweden 1973-2001: rate, subgroups, and effect of changing patterns in multiple births, maternal age, and smoking. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, 84(6), 558-565.
Singh, U., Singh, N., & Shikha, S. (2007). A prospective analysis of etiology and outcome of preterm labor. Thr Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 57(1), 48-52.

 

 



AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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