Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for October 20, 2006

More Infant Deaths Found to Be Due to Premature Birth

By Mike Stobbe
Associated Press
Monday, October 2, 2006; Page A02

Scientists now say one-third of infant deaths are because of premature births — a much larger percentage than previously thought.

In the past, “preterm birth” has been the listed cause of death in fewer than 20 percent of newborn fatalities. But that rate should be 34 percent or more, said researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s because at least a dozen causes of newborn death are actually problems that go hand-in-hand with premature births, such as respiratory distress syndrome caused by underdeveloped lungs.

“This brings preterm birth, as a cause of death, to the kind of level that we think it deserves,” said the CDC’s Bill Callaghan, the lead author of a study appearing today in the journal Pediatrics.

The revised statistic might lead to greater efforts to counsel pregnant women about taking care of themselves and avoiding actions that can lead to preterm births — such as smoking and drug use.

It also may help organizations lobbying for more research into why some women who follow medical advice still have preterm babies. The March of Dimes is advocating to expand federal research into preterm labor and delivery and the care and treatment of premature infants.

“Preterm birth” generally describes infants who are born before 37 weeks gestation, and the term is also used as an official cause of death. Two-thirds of infant deaths occur in children who were preterm, but their cause of death is often attributed to one of the several specific problems that can occur in preterm babies.

Callaghan and other researchers examined birth and death certificates for about 28,000 U.S. infants who died in 2002.

More than 4,600 of those were attributed only to preterm birth. But the researchers also grouped in thousands of other deaths that were attributed to preterm-related conditions, including respiratory distress syndrome, brain hemorrhage and maternal complications such as premature rupture of membranes.

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:

Earlier this year, I warned you about the alarming 30 percent rise in premature births in the United States, amounting to one out of every eight babies, and how the risk of complications increase dramatically the earlier a child is born.

With premature births responsible for a third of infant deaths, it’s no wonder the United States ranks 23rd among all industrialized nations in infant mortality.

There are many factors that are responsible for these problems, from smoking, infertility treatments and drug use to genetic factors and even prior abortions. But one of the most common causes for premature births has more to with something mothers aren’t getting: omega-3 fats.

A study published in the British Medical Journal clearly shows that omega-3 fat consumption is associated with less of a risk for premature delivery.

Omega-3 fats not only help prevent this problem, but they also do dramatic wonders to improve the health of all children. The omega-3 fat DHA is absolutely critical for optimal brain and vision function. It is my estimation that omega-3 fats are likely to be the single most important nutrient that a pregnant woman could be on.

So PLEASE if you know a pregnant woman please encourage her as strongly as you can that she needs to be on a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat supplement like fish oil or krill oil. This could very well save her baby’s life, but at a minimum it will make her child smarter.

Also, recall that although fish do provide omega-3 fats, they are also loaded with mercury and solvents like PCB and PDEs so supplementation is clearly the safer and superior option. 

October 21, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment


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