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Blood test predicts pregnant women’s risk of premature birth

pregnancy

A new blood test that predicts if a pregnant woman will give birth prematurely has been developed.

It is up to 80 percent accurate and can also be used to estimate the mother’s due date as reliably as an ultrasound, but costs much less, says the research team at Stanford University in California, United States (US).

Almost one out of every 10 infants born in the US is premature and the rate is going up, according to the CDC.

Premature babies suffer a greater risk of breathing problems, feeding problems and are more susceptible to contracting infections.

The researchers hope this new breakthrough will accurately predict delivery dates so treatment can be provided immediately after birth or lead to new drugs to delay premature birth.

Premature birth occurs when a baby arrives at least three weeks early.

Prior to this new technique, the best tests only predicted premature birth in high-risk women, such as women who conceived through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), suffered multiple miscarriages or had already given birth prematurely.

Additionally, they only proved correct around 20 percent of the time.

” They were very good at determining if the woman wouldn’t deliver preterm, if the test came back ‘no’,” Mira Moufarrej, a bioengineering PhD student at Stanford, told Daily Mail Online.

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