Pregnancy
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
IUD Won't Interfere With Breast-FeedingPost-C-Section Cephalexin, Metronidazole Cuts SSI RateCGM Use in Pregnancy Improves Neonatal OutcomesEarly Onset of Pregnancy Complication May Raise Heart RisksPanic Disorder, GAD Not Linked to Adverse Pregnancy OutcomesDoes Mother's Mental Health Affect Pregnancy?Is an Occasional Drink OK During Pregnancy?Risk of Prematurity, SGA Up for Women on Antiepileptic DrugsCould Folic Acid Fight a Cause of Autism?Researchers Find Genes Linked to Preterm BirthHealth Tip: Suggestions for New MomsMom-to-Be's Cellphone May Not Harm Fetal BrainDoes Immune System Hold Clues to Preterm Births?Clinicians Urged to Heighten Alert for Perinatal Suicide Risk1 in 5 Moms Mum About Post-Pregnancy BluesSuicide a Danger for Some Women During Pregnancy: StudyAnti-Vaccine Info in Pregnancy May Delay Infant ImmunizationZika Hijacks Pregnant Woman's Immune SystemSmoking During Pregnancy Up Among Women With DepressionWound Complication Rate for C-Section Varies With Suture TypePreterm Birth Risk Spikes in Mothers With Sleep DisordersBirths Outside Obstetric Institutions Up Mortality RiskPrenatal Exposure to Certain Flame Retardants Linked to Lower IQsPoor Adherence to Self-Monitoring of Glucose in GDMRecent Flu Shot Shouldn't Prevent Vaccination During PregnancyACOG: Opioid Agonist Rx First Choice in Affected PregnanciesC-Section, GDM Rates Down With Maternal Lifestyle InterventionsAntidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Increase in AutismGood Diet, Exercise While Pregnant Could Cut C-section RiskAsthma Control Essential in Pregnancy, Study SuggestsNo Sign That Antidepressants in Pregnancy Harm Kids' Brains: StudyDoes Stress Worsen Chemical Harms in Pregnancy?Pregnancy Complication Costs U.S. BillionsDo Moms Who Smoke in Pregnancy Raise Their Odds for a Troubled Teen?Sugary Drinks in Pregnancy Tied to Heavier Kids LaterSugar Intake During Pregnancy Tied to Allergy in OffspringCould a Sweet Tooth in Pregnancy Spur Allergies in Kids?Can an Aspirin a Day Keep a Pregnancy Complication Away?Diabetic Ketoacidosis Poses Fetal Risk During/After EventBirth Defect Risk Rises With Maternal Excess Weight SeverityHigher Pregnancy Weight Tied to Raised Odds for Birth DefectsFever During Pregnancy Tied to Autism in StudySuccessful Pregnancies Seen After Uterine Fibroid EmbolizationOpioids Tend to Be Over-Prescribed After Cesarean SectionOpioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDCNewborns Sickened With Legionnaire's Disease Via Home Water Birth: CDCHeart Risks to Fetus From Bipolar Drug May Be Lower Than ThoughtAblation Successful for Trigeminal Neuralgia in PregnancyAntidepressants During Pregnancy Safe for Baby: Study
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Researchers Find Genes Linked to Preterm Birth

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Sep 6th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've pinpointed gene areas linked with preterm birth -- and they said this could pave new ways to prevent the leading cause of death among children under age 5 worldwide.

The team looked at DNA and other data from more than 50,000 women from the United States and northern European countries. The researchers identified six gene regions that influence the length of pregnancy and the timing of birth.

"These are exciting findings that could play a key role in reducing newborn deaths and giving every child the chance to grow up smart and strong," said Trevor Mundel, president of the Global Health Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Preterm infants (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) are at increased risk of death. Those who survive often have serious, lifelong health problems.

The new study found that one of the gene areas identified involves cells of the lining of the uterus, which may play a role in pregnancy length. Researchers said this may be a target for medications to prevent preterm birth.

Another finding from the studies involves the dietary mineral selenium and how a deficiency might affect preterm birth risk. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, beef liver, sardines and some meats.

"Not only did the study reveal several genes linked to preterm birth, it also identified a simple, low-cost solution -- selenium supplements for expectant mothers -- that, if confirmed, could save thousands of lives," Mundel said in a news release from the March of Dimes.

Study co-coordinator Dr. Louis Muglia is the principal investigator of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center -- Ohio Collaborative. "We have known for a long time that preterm birth is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Previous research has suggested that about 30 to 40 percent of the risk for preterm birth is linked to genetic factors," he said.

"This new study is the first to provide robust information as to what some of those genetic factors actually are," Muglia noted, though his team said more research is needed to build upon the findings.

Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, said, "This is a very exciting discovery that can be expected to lead to the development of new treatments to prevent pregnant women from going into labor too soon and to give more babies a healthy start in life."

The study was published Sept. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on preterm birth.