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CitationPrevention of preterm birth. 2012, 17 (1):58-63 Semin Fetal Neonatal Med
JournalSeminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
AbstractPreterm birth (delivery before 37 completed weeks of gestation) is common and rates are increasing. In the past, medical efforts focused on ameliorating the consequences of prematurity rather than preventing its occurrence. This approach resulted in improved neonatal outcomes, but it remains costly in terms of both the suffering of infants and their families and the economic burden on society. Increased understanding of the pathophysiology of preterm labor has altered the approach to this problem, with increased focus on preventive strategies. Primary prevention is a limited strategy which involves public education, smoking cessation, improved nutritional status and avoidance of late preterm births. Secondary prevention focuses on recurrent preterm birth which is the most recognisable risk factor. Widely accepted strategies include cervical cerclage, progesterone and dedicated clinics. However, more research is needed to explore the role of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory treatments in the prevention of this complex problem.
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