Preterm Birth is a Global Problem
Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world, that is one in every 10 live births. Among the 39 countries with a Very High Human Development Index ranking, the UK is listed as 26th with a rate of 7.8%. Around 1 million infants will die and those that live have an increased risk of complications throughout their lifetime such as respiratory distress, impaired motor skills, cognitive and intellectual impairment, and visual, hearing and learning difficulties.
Preterm birth (PTB) occurs for one of three reasons: spontaneous PTB, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) and medically indicated PTB. Risks for PTB include diabetes, obesity-related preeclampsia, tobacco, drug and heavy alcohol use, hypertension and intrauterine infections.