Our preterm birth research is featured in the Fall/Winter 2015 Columbia Medicine Alumni Magazine along with all of our Columbia colleagues working towards understanding and reducing the burden of preterm birth.
Category Archives: In the News
The World Health Organization released new statistics on the rate of preterm birth around the world. The bottom line is preterm birth rates are still high. About 15 million babies are born preterm every year. In 2013 almost 1 million babies died from complications related to preterm birth. Increased knowledge on the cause of preterm and better solutions to prevent it from happening are much needed.
A recent Wall Street Journal Article (published: Tuesday, July 16th, 2013) discusses the possible detrimental effects of long-term bed rest during pregnancy. Often bed rest is prescribed to prevent preterm birth due to premature cervical dilation (aka cervical insufficiency). However, since not much is known about the mechanics of cervical remodeling and dilation, the efficacy of bed rest to prevent preterm birth is unknown.
A new study by the World Health Organization released this month reports that preterm birth rates are on the rise around the world. The causes of these premature births and the reasons for their rate increase are multifactorial and location specific. In the US, despite advances in prenatal care, the preterm birth rate is among the highest at 12%, with over half a million babies born premature each year. This study highlights the need to further understand pregnancy and the mechanisms that keep the mother and baby healthy.
Click on the links for a copy of the report from the WHO and an interactive map on the March of Dimes website.
The work of our collaborators in the Kitajewski lab at the Columbia University Medical Center were featured in a news brief for their groundbreaking work on the Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 (ANTXR2) protein. Their work explores the importance of cervical extracellular matrix maintenance for a healthy labor and birth.
The New York Times reports the success of a cervical pessary study in The Lancet today. The study claims the pessary device was successful at preventing preterm labor in a cohort of women at high-risk for preterm birth, identified by a ‘short’ cervical length in an ultrasound screening. It is still unclear how the pessary is able to maintain the cervix from dialating prematurely, but the results of this clinical trial are promising and provide evidence that the biomechanical properties of the pelvic region play a role in the progression of labor and cervical dilation.