Poverty and pregnancy: scientists uncover link with neonatal deaths

Posted by pt91 at Dec 09, 2010 03:55 PM |
Researchers at the University of Leicester have raised concerns that government initiatives to reduce deprivation are not focusing on the causes of premature delivery or birth defects.

The authors of a new British Medical Journal study, led by Dr Lucy Smith from our Department of Health Sciences, argue that the current strategy in England to tackle socioeconomic inequalities does not adequately address these two major causes of death.

The study revealed that newborn deaths are over twice as high in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived and around 80% of these are the result of premature delivery or a birth defect. The authors have emphasised that understanding the link between deprivation and premature birth should be a major research priority.

Recent evidence suggests that the deprivation gap appears to be widening and this study is a timely reminder of the dangers of letting poverty grow.