New Study Shows At Least 2.6 Million Pregnancies Annually End In Stillbirth

According to a study published in ‘The Lancet, researchers have determined that approximately 2.6 million pregnancies of more than 28 weeks end in stillbirth annually worldwide.

Out of those, at least half are caused by complications during delivery due to inadequate medical care during the birth. With proper medical facilities and care, this number could be reduced by as much as 45 percent in most countries by the year 2015 at a cost of around $2.30 per patient.

Reasons cited for many of the complications were lack of proper obstetric care, gestational hypertension, untreated syphilis and undiagnosed or untreated fetal conditions. The study found that the highest occurrences of fetal death after the 28th week were in South Asia and sub-Saharan areas of Africa with a full 50 percent of all stillbirths occurring in China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and India. Actual numbers are difficult to determine in developing countries because many occurrences go unreported.

Some of the most common causes of stillbirth are infections, complications during birth, umbilical cord issues or fetal distress and disorders. Other common causes are if the mother has gestational hypertension or if she is obese.

China and several Latin and South American countries are making gains in stillbirth reductions, with decreases of between 40 and 50 percent annually.

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