Cincinnati Children's Blog

Neighborhood-specific identification of preterm birth risks

We all know computers can do amazing things.

But reduce preterm births? No way, right? Well, maybe.

One of our neonatologists presented research at the annual meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies earlier this month that explains how.

Through computer analysis of geographical information, our researchers have begun to identify neighborhood-specific risk factors for preterm birth.

And with this information, they believe they can provide optimal and targeted strategies for preventing preterm birth. They have data from a study of Hamilton County, Ohio, to support their contention.

By identifying risk factors that are potentially controlled, the right interventions for specific populations of mothers begin to emerge.

Doctors believe the methods of analysis should be applicable in any given geographical area.

Some of the factors studied were: previous preterm birth, chronic or gestational hypertension, education level, diabetes, short inter-pregnancy interval, smoking, advanced maternal age and low pre-pregnancy weight.

This is exciting research that could potentially change outcomes for many babies in our area and beyond. The research continues and is expanding, so we will keep an eye on it and let you know how it goes.

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