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Womens Health NEWS
Published statement offers expert guidance on fetal heart care
Fetal heart experts working with the American Heart Association have developed guidelines to help healthcare providers care for unborn babies with heart problems, as well as their families. The statement, "Diagnosis and Treatment of Fetal Cardiac Disease," was published April 24 on the website of the journal Circulation. "Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect that can result in either death or...READ MORE »
Study links maternal BMI to perinatal mortality risk
Higher maternal body mass index before or during early pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal death, stillbirth and infant death, and women who are severely obese have the greatest risk of these outcomes from their pregnancy, according to a study. Approximately 2.7 million stillbirths occurred worldwide in 2008, according to background information in the study, which was published in the April 16...READ MORE »
Task force draft recommends aspirin to prevent preeclampsia
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted a draft recommendation statement and published a final evidence summary on low-dose aspirin for the prevention of morbidity and mortality from preeclampsia. The task force recommends use of low-dose aspirin (81 mg/day) after 12 weeks of pregnancy in women who are at high risk for preeclampsia. Before developing the final recommendation, the task force will accept...READ MORE »
Research links preconception stress with infertility risk
Preconception stress might play a role in infertility, according to a study. Extending and corroborating an earlier study conducted in the United Kingdom that demonstrated an association between high levels of stress and a reduced probability of pregnancy, this work adds new insight by suggesting that stress is associated with an increased risk of infertility. Courtney Denning-Johnson Lynch, PhD, director of...READ MORE »
Cardiac arrest during childbirth more frequent than believed
Although cardiac arrest during childbirth is rare, it may be two times more common than previously reported in the literature, according to a study. The study, based on data for more than 56 million births, also found that cardiopulmonary resuscitation often was successful, and that the survival rate improved between 1998 and 2011. More than one in 12,000 American women suffer from cardiac arrest during...READ MORE »
Gestational diabetes might raise risk of early heart disease
Pregnant women may face an increased risk of early heart disease after developing gestational diabetes, according to a study. Gestational diabetes increases the risk that the mother will develop diabetes later, researchers noted in background information for the article, which was published March 12 in the open-access Journal of the American Heart Association. The condition is managed with meal planning, activity...READ MORE »
Watchdog: Rate of early elective deliveries continues to drop
The national rate of maternal early elective deliveries dropped for the third year in a row and hit the target rate of less than 5% for the first time, according to nonprofit hospital quality watchdog The Leapfrog Group. "This is one of the most extraordinary examples of progress in healthcare that I've seen in my career," Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, said in a news release. "It shows that public...READ MORE »
Acetaminophen use while pregnant linked to ADHD in offspring
Children of women who used acetaminophen during pregnancy appear to be at higher risk of behavioral problems resembling attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and of hyperkinetic disorders, according to a study based in Denmark. Acetaminophen is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever during pregnancy, according to background information in the study, which was published Feb. 24 on the website of JAMA...READ MORE »
Groups urge steps to cut back on primary cesareans
Allowing most women with low-risk pregnancies to spend more time in the first stage of labor may avoid unnecessary cesareans, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Issued jointly in an Obstetric Care Consensus guideline, the new recommendations are targeted at preventing women from having cesareans with their first birth and at decreasing...READ MORE »
Many women don't follow recommendations for postpartum MD visits
Medical associations widely recommend that women visit their obstetricians and primary care physicians shortly after giving birth, but slightly fewer than half make or keep those postpartum appointments, according to a single-state study. Researchers with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that women with pregnancy complications were more likely to see a physician post-delivery, but overall, visit rates...READ MORE »
USPSTF recommends universal screening for gestational diabetes
In a final recommendation statement, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised that all women be screened for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of pregnancy. "Diabetes that begins during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for expectant mothers and their babies," Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, task force chairwoman, said in a news release. "The good news is that screening all women after 24 weeks of...READ MORE »
Long-term oral contraceptive use linked to glaucoma risk
Study findings indicate women who have taken oral contraceptives for three or more years are twice as likely to suffer from glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness that affects nearly 60 million people worldwide. The study's researchers caution gynecologists and ophthalmologists to be aware of the fact that oral contraceptives might play a role in glaucomatous diseases, and inform patients to have their eyes screened...READ MORE »
Study: Phthalates exposure might raise risk of preterm delivery
New study findings indicate the odds of preterm delivery increase for pregnant women exposed to phthalates, chemicals that are prevalent in contaminated food and water and in a variety of products including lotions, perfumes and deodorants. Prematurity is a leading cause of infant death, and the effects of environmental exposures on preterm birth are understudied, according to background information in the study,...READ MORE »
CDC: Small decline in smoking before, during and after pregnancy
A CDC report shows only modest decreases in smoking during and after pregnancy during a 10-year period, despite evidence linking smoking to higher risk of complications and infant death. In 2002, 5%-8% of preterm deliveries, 13%-19% of term infants with growth restriction, 5%-7% of preterm-related deaths and 23%-34% of deaths from SIDS could be attributed to prenatal smoking in the U.S., according to a study...READ MORE »
Study quantifies increased risks of early-term births
Early-term births are associated with higher neonatal morbidity and with more NICU or neonatology service admissions than are term births, according to a study. Shaon Sengupta, MD, now of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and formerly of the University at Buffalo (N.Y.), and colleagues examined data over a three-year period from medical records of live births at major hospitals in Erie County, N.Y. Of the...READ MORE »