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Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology$
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Germaine M. Buck Louis and Robert W. Platt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387902.001.0001

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Duration of Gestation and Timing of Birth

Duration of Gestation and Timing of Birth

(p.152) 8 Duration of Gestation and Timing of Birth
Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

Jun Zhang

David A. Savitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts with a review of methods for estimating the duration of pregnancy, considering the assumptions and accuracy in dating by the last normal menstrual period, ultrasound assessment, and neonatal examination. The epidemiology of preterm birth is addressed in detail, considering the methods for classification based on clinical presentation, biological mechanisms thought to be the underlying basis for early parturition, descriptive epidemiology, known and suspected risk factors, and strategies that have been attempted to prevent preterm birth. The immediate and long-term consequences of preterm birth for the health of infants and children are described as well. Finally, the determinants and consequences of postterm birth are noted.

Keywords:   gestational age, preterm, prematurity, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, postterm

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