Doctors blamed for rise in preterm births

Erring on the side of caution has a downside, study suggests

Preterm births have risen by 40% over the last three decades and early intervention by medical professionals is mostly to blame for the increase, a South Australian study suggests.

preterm baby

While the incidence of pre-eclampsia and small for gestational age declined between 1986 and 2014, iatrogenic preterm birth increased, the research shows.

The authors suggest this may be due in part to “changing maternal phenotype and altered clinicians’ behaviour”.

They note that improvements in fetal surveillance - particularly ultrasonography -&nbsp