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Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 407–410 | Cite as

Preventing Preterm Birth—is it Really Impossible?: A Comment on the IOM Report on Preterm Birth

  • Emile Papiernik
Article

I do not agree with one of the major conclusions of the Institute of Medicine’s [11] Report, Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention, that prevention of preterm birth is unsuccessful. The IOM report is a synthesis of the most available knowledge about preterm birth, its causes and consequences. But despite the word prevention used in the title, the report is open to technical criticism on this specific issue. I have three main points of disagreement.

The first point is about the meaning of the term prevention in this context. Prevention is generally used to describe an activity or intervention aimed at reducing the appearance of a disease in a given population [17]. It is thus applied to the effect of an immunization proposed to all members of this population [12]. Prevention of obesity correctly describes a policy aimed at convincing all members of a given community to change their eating habits and exercise more.

But this common definition is not that used by the authors...

Keywords

Pregnant Woman Preterm Birth Prenatal Care Singleton Pregnancy Parous Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversité Paris5 René Descartes, Maternité Port-RoyalParisFrance
  2. 2.The Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris Hospitals NetworkParisFrance
  3. 3.The American College of Obstetrics and GynecologyWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.The Royal College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsLondonUK
  5. 5.The American Academy of PediatricsPelk Grove VillageUSA
  6. 6.Society of Maternal-Fetal MedicineWashingtonUSA

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