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A vaccine for preventing premature birth is being developed

Posted Oct 17 2012 4:23am

Some optimistic news has arrived in this connection, vaccines which will prevent premature birth and complications during pregnancy are being developed and are at their final stages of being tested and introduced. These vaccines will prevent the mother’s body from rejecting the fetus and will protect the mother from complications such as preeclampsia. The hope is, that these vaccines will also assist in the ongoing search for vaccines against autoimmune diseases such as diabetes type 1, because they will be based on protecting immune T-cells from attacking the body’s own cells and immune system, including the fetus, which in some cases is rejected as a “foreign body”.

The new vaccine will be targeting these T-cells, and will hopefully avoid the body from rejecting the fetus earlier than the term of the pregnancy.

Meanwhile, studies have found a worrying correlation between being born prematurely and the risk of having pregnancy problems. According to the findings published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal , women who themselves were born prematurely (before 32 weeks) are at a much higher risk of experiencing problems such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and hypertension during their pregnancies.

The study done by neonatal specialists and the Universityof Montrealof the medical history of 7405 women from Quebecshowed that the risk of having a pregnancy-related complication in those women born prematurely (before 32 weeks) is as much as double as compared to those born at term (the 37th week).

The “born preterm factor”, as the Canadian researchers called it is the finding that  the risk of the women born between 32 and 36 weeks, who were still premature but not as premature as those born before the 32nd week, for having a complication during pregnancy was found to be about 13% higher than those born in term, but not as high as the 20% found with those born before the 32nd week.

In other words, of the women included in the study, one of every five prematurely born women experienced pregnancy complication, as compared to one in every ten born in term.

The conclusion of the study from Quebec was that it is a good idea that the doctors should take into consideration the week of birth of the expectant mother when taking care of her and watching her pregnancy, and also to consider the possible risks before them getting pregnant, so that they could be especially monitored and precautions are taken to avoid or at least control these possible complications during the best time of a woman’s life – pregnancy.

Today, about 12 percent of babies in the US are born prematurely. The good news is that in the last three decades, with the existing modern neonatal care, the survival rate of prematurely born babies has increased significantly, the possible bad news is that these premature baby girls grow into women who may have a higher risk of getting complications when deciding to become mothers themselves.  The study even found that the prematurely born women before the age of 32 are more prone to high blood pressure, diabetes types 1 and 2, as well as kidney disease as a whole.

When more babies are born on term, the numbers of risks of premature births and pregnancy complications, as well as all possible complications which may arise for the premature babies will decrease, and the risks will be limited.

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