Detection of transposition of the great arteries in fetuses reduces neonatal morbidity and mortality. (1/2151)

BACKGROUND: Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a life-threatening malformation in neonates, but it is amenable to complete repair. Prenatal detection, diagnosis, and early management may modify neonatal mortality and mortality. METHODS AND RESULTS: Preoperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality were compared in 68 neonates with prenatal diagnosis and in 250 neonates with a postnatal diagnosis of TGA over a period of 10 years. The delay between birth and admission was 2+/-2.8 hours in the prenatal group and 73+/-210 hours in the neonatal group (P<0.01). Clinical condition at arrival, including metabolic acidosis and multiorgan failure, was worse in the neonatal group (P<0.01). Once in the pediatric cardiology unit, the management was identical in the 2 groups (atrioseptostomy, PGE1 infusion, operation date). Preoperative mortality was 15 of 250 (6%; 95% CI, 3% to 9%) in the neonatal group and 0 of 68 in the prenatal group (P<0.05). Postoperative morbidity was not different (25 of 235 versus 6 of 68), but hospital stay was longer in the neonatal group (30+/-17 versus 24+/-11 days, P<0.01). In addition, postoperative mortality was significantly higher in the neonatal group (20 of 235 versus 0 of 68, P<0.01); however, the known risk factors for operative mortality were identical in the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal diagnosis reduces mortality and morbidity in TGA. Prenatal detection of this cardiac defect must be increased to improve early neonatal management. In utero transfer of fetuses with prenatal diagnosis of TGA in an appropriate unit is mandatory.  (+info)

Low-weight neonatal survival paradox in the Czech Republic. (2/2151)

Analysis of vital statistics for the Czech Republic between 1986 and 1993, including 3,254 infant deaths from 350,978 first births to married and single women who conceived at ages 18-29 years, revealed a neonatal survival advantage for low-weight infants born to disadvantaged (single, less educated) women, particularly for deaths from congenital anomalies. This advantage largely disappeared after the neonatal period. The same patterns have been observed for low-weight infants born to black women in the United States. Since the Czech Republic had an ethnically homogenous population, virtually universal prenatal care, and uniform institutional conditions for delivery, Czech results must be attributed to social rather than to biologic or medical circumstances. This strengthens the contention that in the United States, the black neonatal survival paradox may be due as much to race-related social stigmatization and consequent disadvantage as to any hypothesized hereditary influences on birth-weight-specific survival.  (+info)

Light on population health status. (3/2151)

A new approach to illustrating and analysing health status is presented which allows comparisons of various aspects of health in a population at different times and in different populations during given periods. Both quantitative and qualitative elements can be represented, the impact of interventions can be monitored, and the extent to which objectives are achieved can be assessed. The practical application of the approach is demonstrated with reference to the health profiles to Tunisia in 1966 and 1994.  (+info)

Influence of maternal ethnicity on infant mortality in Chicago, 1989-1996. (4/2151)

This study compared infant mortality rates between large ethnic groups in Chicago from 1989-1996. Infant mortality information about ethnic groups was compared using data from annual reports published by the Epidemiology Program, Department of Public Health, City of Chicago and vital statistics documents in Illinois, which include information on ethnicity. Chi-squared analysis was used to evaluate the differences between the proportions. A P value of < .05 was considered significant. During the study period, there were 461,974 births and 6407 infant deaths in Chicago. African Americans contributed 212,924 (46.1%) births and 4387 (68.5%) deaths; Hispanics 132,787 (28.7%) births and 1166 (18.2%) deaths; and whites 99,532 (21.6%) births and 780 (12.2%) infant deaths. Compared with the other groups. African Americans suffered a twofold increased mortality (P < .00001) for five of the six most common causes of infant mortality. Deaths from congenital malformations, although significant, were not excessively increased among African Americans (P = .014). Hispanics demonstrated a higher mortality rate than whites (P = .01), especially for postnatal mortality and respiratory distress syndrome. These data confirm excessive infant mortality among African Americans. Further studies are needed to evaluate the apparent low mortality among some Hispanics compared with the other groups studied.  (+info)

Hyaline membrane disease, alkali, and intraventricular haemorrhage. (5/2151)

The relation between intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and hyaline membrane disease (HMD) was studied in singletons that came to necropsy at Hammersmith Hospital over the years 1966-73. The incidence of IVH in singleton live births was 3-22/1000 and of HMD 4-44/1000. Although the high figures were partily due to the large number of low birthweight infants born at this hospital, the incidence of IVH in babies weighing 1001-1500 g was three times as great as that reported in the 1658 British Perinatal Mortality Survey. Most IVH deaths were in babies with HMD, but the higher frequency of IVH was not associated with any prolongation of survival time of babies who died with HMD as compared with the 1958 survey. IVH was seen frequently at gestations of up to 36 weeks in babies with HMD but was rare above 30 weeks' gestation in babies without HMD. This indicated that factors associated with HMD must cause most cases of IVH seen at gestations above 30 weeks. Comparison of clinical details in infants with HMD who died with or without IVH (at gestations of 30-37 weeks) showed no significant differences between the groups other than a high incidence of fits and greater use of alkali therapy in the babies with IVH. During the 12 hours when most alkali therapy was given, babies dying with IVD received a mean total alkali dosage of 10-21 mmol/kg and those dying without IVH 6-34 mmol/kg (P less than 0-001). There was no difference in severity of hypoxia or of metabolic acidosis between the 2 groups. Babies who died with HMD and germinal layer haemorrhage (GLH) without IVH had received significantly more alkali than those who died with HMD alone, whereas survivors of severe respiratory distress syndrome had received lower alkali doses than other groups. It is suggested that the greatly increased death rate from IVH in babies with HMD indicates some alteration of management of HMD (since 1958) as a causative factor. Liberal use of hypertonic alkali solutions is the common factor which distinguishes babies dying with GLH and IVH from other groups of babies with HMD. Although the causal nature of this association remains unproved, it seems justifiable to lrge caution in alkali usage.  (+info)

Changes of neonatal mortality rate between 'pre' and 'post' surfactant period. (6/2151)

The objective of this study was to determine how the neonatal mortality rate has changed since surfactant (S) therapy was introduced in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and to evaluate the efficacy of surfactant therapy in respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) patients. Incidences of risk babies such as outborns, prematurity, low birth weight infants and RDS, and neonatal mortality rates were compared between 'pre' (control, 1988 to 1991, n=4,861) and 'post' S period (study, 1993 to 1996, n=5,430). In RDS patients of 'post' S period, neonatal mortality rate was compared between S-treated and non-treated patients, and chest X-ray and ventilatory parameters were compared between pre- and post-72 hr of surfactant treatment. Surfactant therapy showed short term effects, judging by the decrease of early neonatal deaths and improvement of chest X-ray and ventilatory parameters in RDS patients. The overall neonatal mortality rate had a tendency to decrease in spite of increased incidences of risk babies in 'post' S period but it was less than expected. The reasons were thought to be that we had a high proportion of risk babies, and there was some bias in patient selection for surfactant therapy and its use. In conclusion, with the active prevention of risk baby delivery and appropriate use of surfactant, better results could be expected.  (+info)

Narrowing social inequalities in health? Analysis of trends in mortality among babies of lone mothers (abridged version 1). (7/2151)

OBJECTIVES: To examine trends in mortality among babies registered solely by their mother (lone mothers) and to compare these with trends in infant mortality for couple registrations overall and couple registrations subdivided by social class of father. DESIGN: Analysis of trends in infant death rates from 1975 to 1996 for the three groups. The data source was the national linked infant mortality file, containing all records of infant death in England and Wales linked to the respective birth records. SETTING: England and Wales. PARTICIPANTS: All live births (n=14.3 million) from 1975 to 1996; all deaths of infants from birth to 12 months of age over the same period (n=135 800). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Death rates in the perinatal, neonatal, and postneonatal periods and for infancy overall. RESULTS: For the babies of lone mothers infant mortality has fallen to less than a third of the 1975 level, with a clear reduction in the gap between the mortality in these babies compared with all couple registrations: the excess mortality in solely registered births was 79% in 1975 reducing to 33% in 1996. Most of the narrowing of the sole-couple differential was associated with the neonatal period, for which there is now no appreciable gap. For couple registrations analysed by social class of father, infant death rates have more than halved in each social class from 1975 to 1996. The reductions in mortality were greater in the late 1970s and early 1990s. Infant death rates in classes IV-V remained between 50% and 65% higher than in classes I-II. Differentials between social classes were largest in the postneonatal period and smallest in the perinatal and neonatal periods. The gap in perinatal and neonatal mortality between the babies of lone mothers and couple parents in social classes IV-V has disappeared. CONCLUSIONS: The differential in infant mortality between social classes still exists, whereas the differential between sole and couple registrations has decreased, showing positive progress in the reduction of inequalities. As the reduction in the differential was confined to the neonatal period these improvements may be more a reflection of healthcare factors than of factors associated with lone mothers' social and economic circumstances.  (+info)

The determinants of infant and child mortality in Tanzania. (8/2151)

This paper investigates the determinants of infant and child mortality in Tanzania using the 1991/92 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey. A hazards model is used to assess the relative effect of the variables hypothesized to influence under-five mortality. Short birth intervals, teenage pregnancies and previous child deaths are associated with increased risk of death. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania should therefore maintain its commitment to encouraging women to space their births at least two years apart and delay childbearing beyond the teenage years. Further, this study shows that there is a remarkable lack of infant and child mortality differentials by socioeconomic subgroups of the population, which may reflect post-independence health policy and development strategies. Whilst lack of socioeconomic differentials can be considered an achievement of government policies, mortality remains high so there is still a long way to go before Tanzania achieves its stated goal of 'Health for All'.  (+info)