Research Topic

Environmental, Clinical, and Biological Determinants of Preterm Birth and their Effects on the Offspring

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Preterm birth (PTB) is defined as the birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation. It represents 11.6% of all births and is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. PTB may be classified as spontaneous or medically induced when the life of the mother or the fetus is at risk. ...

Preterm birth (PTB) is defined as the birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation. It represents 11.6% of all births and is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. PTB may be classified as spontaneous or medically induced when the life of the mother or the fetus is at risk. Although the etiology of PTB remains elusive, it is well known that social, cultural, environmental, clinical, and genetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of this event. The interaction between these factors may complicate the understanding of the relative contribution of each one on PTB. Furthermore, maternal and fetal genomes may also interact influencing the time of birth, further complicating
matters. In this sense, evidence shows a familial and intergenerational influences on PTB, which may be attributed to shared environmental and/or genetic factors.

Although advances in neonatology care have decreased the mortality of very premature infants, the risk of death of a newborn from premature delivery is nevertheless 120 times greater than that of a full-term one. Furthermore, survivors are at high risk of short-term morbidity from various causes such as respiratory diseases, intraventricular hemorrhage syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, retinopathy of prematurity; but also, of developing significant long-term neurologic and learning impairments, chronic lung disease, and visual problems. It has been shown that delaying delivery improves the neonatal survival rate and current obstetric efforts are directed towards hampering delivery in pregnant women with preterm labor.

We welcome manuscripts addressing how biological, environmental and socioeconomic factors are involved in PTB and their effects on the offspring. We also welcome manuscripts aimed at developing strategies not only to prevent PTB but also to minimize its impact on the fetus. All Article Types are accepted, including Original Research, Review, and Systematic Review.


Keywords: environmental determinants, biological determinants, preterm birth, effects, offspring


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