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Are Most Stillbirths in US Preventable?

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2018 Jan 9; Page, et al

Nearly one-fourth of stillbirths in the US are potentially preventable, a recent study found. The secondary analysis included 512 stillbirths among a diverse, population-based case-control study of stillbirth in the US. Potentially preventable stillbirths were defined as those occurring in nonanomalous fetuses, ≥24 weeks of gestation, and weighing ≥500 g that were 1) intrapartum, 2) the result of medical complications, 3) the result of placental insufficiency, 4) multiple gestation, 5) the results of spontaneous preterm birth, or 6) the result of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Among the findings:

  • Among the 512 stillbirths in the cohort, causes of potentially preventable stillbirth included placental insufficiency, medical complications of pregnancy, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm labor, intrapartum, and multiple gestations.
  • 27 stillbirths fit 2 or more categories, leaving 114 (22.3%) potentially preventable stillbirths.


Page JM, Thorsten V, Reddy UM, et al. Potentially preventable stillbirth in a diverse U.S. cohort. [Published online ahead of print January 9, 2018]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002421.