Stillbirths rate unchanged despite medical advances - Guardian
"The number of stillbirths to mothers across much of the UK is virtually unchanged over the past 13 years, in spite of medical advances, a report says today.
There were 3,676 stillbirths in 2005, and half of those are still unexplained, says the report from the Confidential Inquiry into Maternal and Child Health, which was set up by the medical royal colleges.
The study collects data on all stillbirths and deaths within four weeks of birth from clinicians in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It shows that one in 200 pregnancies end in stillbirth and one in 300 babies die before they are four weeks old.
Stillbirths were in steady decline from the 1950s, says the report, but the rate has held steady since the early 1990s. "The lack of progress in reducing the stillbirth rate is a matter of considerable public health concern meriting further initiatives and research," says the report.
While the causes of half the stillbirths are unknown, it is clear that they were more likely to happen to mothers living in areas of social deprivation, who were twice as likely to have a stillbirth as those in the richest parts of the country."
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