From the Guardian
Thousands of babies in England are being born prematurely, smaller than expected or stillborn because of “alarming” and “devastating” socioeconomic and racial inequalities across the country, a landmark study has suggested.
Both are known risk factors for poor pregnancy outcomes. However, until now, little has been known about the scale of their “heartbreaking” impact on women and babies.
Now research involving more than 1m births suggests socioeconomic inequalities account for a quarter of all stillbirths, a fifth of preterm births, and a third of cases of foetal growth restriction (FGR), a condition in which babies are smaller than expected for their gestational age.
At the same time, one in 10 stillbirths and almost one in five FGR cases are due to racial inequalities, the study suggests. The findings, which have prompted calls for urgent action, were published in the medical journal the Lancet.