Special Notices / Multimedia Featured Resources:
1. Library Compiles Resources on Prematurity and Preterm Birth
Prematurity and Preterm Birth: Resource Brief is a guide to websites and related professional resources compiled by the Maternal and Child Health Library (MCH Library) at Georgetown University with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The brief contains links to federal agency and other organizational websites, along with descriptions of selected resources. Also featured are selected resources developed by the MCH Library, such as an annotated bibliography on prematurity and knowledge paths on infant mortality, pregnancy loss, and preconception and pregnancy resources for families. The brief is available at http://www.mchlibrary.info/guides/prematurity.html
MCH Library resource briefs on other topics are available at http://mchlibrary.info/guidestopic.html. The MCH Library welcomes feedback on the usefulness and value of the resource briefs. A feedback form is available at http://www.mchlibrary.info/feedback/index.html
2. Campaign Expands to Encompass All Sleep-Related, Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths
The Safe to Sleep campaign aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health professionals about ways to reduce the risk for SIDS and actions they can take to reduce the risk of other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation. The campaign builds on the Back to Sleep campaign started in 1994. Collaborators include the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Reproductive Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Candle, and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs. The strategies outlined in the campaign resources are based on recommendations defined by the AAP Task Force on SIDS. Resources include the following:
Safe Sleep for Your Baby. This 12-page brochure provides answers to common questions about SIDS and encourages parents and other caregivers to share the the follmessages with everyone who cares for their infant or for any infant younger than age 1. The brochure is available as follows:
What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like? This single-page handout provides information on crib-safety guidelines and other strategies to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. The handout is available as follows:
More information about the Safe to Sleep campaign is available at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS
3. Analysis Identifies Factors Causing or Contributing to Fetal Death and Fetal Size
"Among stillbirths ascertained through the WiSSP [Wisconsin Stillbirth Service Program], the proportion of LGA [large for gestational age] infants is greater than expected by chance, suggesting that LGA infants have, in general, an increased risk of stillbirth, and/or suggesting that specific conditions that cause an infant to be larger than expected may also cause fetal death," write the authors of an article published in the October 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics. About 1 in 160 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth and another 3 percent with a second-trimester miscarriage. While a known trend of smaller body size is observed in stillbirths compared to live births, little review has been performed on any cohort of LGA losses. The article describes a study to retrospectively review the WiSSP database of over 2,600 stillbirth and second-trimester miscarriages for LGA losses to determine whether there were more macrosomic infants than expected, and if there were, which factors might account for the increase.
The authors found that
"To further these goals of understanding the causes of hydrops, recognizing impending placental failure, and improving survival of the offspring of diabetic mothers, investigations of LGA stillbirths including autopsy and placental pathology as well as early recognition and treatment of maternal diabetes are crucial," the authors conclude.
Burmeister B, Zaleski C, Cold C, et al. 2012. Wisconsin Stillbirth Service Program: Analysis of large for gestational age cases. American Journal of Medical Genetics 158A(10):2493-2498. Abstract available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajmg.a.35578/abstract
4. Article Assesses Effectiveness of Social Marketing to Increase Awareness of the African-American Infant Mortality Disparity
"Campaigns to increase awareness [of disparities] in African-American infant mortality (IM)] can be effective and may be an important step in engaging . . . [the African-American] community in efforts to reduce this disparity," write the authors of an article published in Health Promotion Practice online on September 18, 2012. Increasing evidence supports the role of social determinants of health and community-level risks factors as being at least as important as individual-level biological and behavioral risk factors as underlying causes of racial and ethnic health disparities. In this article, the authors report on the effectiveness of a social marketing (SM) campaign conducted in San Francisco, CA, aimed at increasing awareness among African Americans of (1) the IM disparity between African-American infants and white infants and (2) proper infant sleep position to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Three campaigns were conducted to increase awareness among African Americans in the four San Francisco neighborhoods where most African-American births occur. The three campaign themes were (1) awareness of the IM disparity, (2) importance of proper infant sleep position, and (3) need to take action to reduce IM disparities. The same mediums were used in all campaigns: ads on buses and bus stops, posters, cards, brochures, handouts, church fans, and radio public service announcements (PSAs). To assess the impact of the campaigns, a telephone survey (Time 2; N=654) was conducted in 2005 at the conclusion of Campaign 3 with African Americans in the priority communities and compared with a survey conducted with the same population in 2003 (Time 1; N=804), before the campaigns were initiated.
The authors found that
The authors conclude that "a successful effort [to reduce disparities] should begin by assessing awareness of disparities within the community followed by a tailored multimedia SM campaign to increase awareness and frame the health disparities as a group issue."
Rienks J, Oliva G. 2012. Using social marketing to increase awareness of the African American infant mortality disparity. Health Promotion Practice [published online on September 18, 2012]. Abstract available at http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/09/06/1524839912458107
5. Authors Look at Impact of Reporting Requirements on Mortality Rates and Racial Disparities
"Our results indicate that fetal death reporting requirements contribute to substantial differences in fetal death reporting at lower gestational ages," state the authors of an article published in the September-October 2012 issue of Public Health Reports. The article looks at reasons for national variation in early neonatal and fetal mortality rates and racial disparities.
Data for the analysis were drawn from the 2000-2002 birth and linked infant death and fetal death records from the National Center for Health Statistics Division of Vital Statistics. The study population included all singleton live births and fetal deaths to non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black (hereafter referred to as white and black) maternal residents of the United States. The primary outcomes were early neonatal mortality rates (deaths occurring between 1 and 6 days of life, expressed per 1,000 live births); fetal mortality rates (expressed per 1,000 live births); and racial disparities. (The researchers selected early neonatal mortality as opposed to neonatal or infant mortality because it allowed for a more specific examination of the deaths that would be most amenable to variations in reporting laws.) The primary exposures were state-level fetal-death reporting requirements. State fetal-death reporting laws were categorized based on the latest revision of the Fetal Death Registration Requirements and then consolidated into areas thought to capture most of the reporting differences that may occur through differences in birthweight or gestational age criteria. The four reporting areas resulting from this aggregation included states that reported fetal deaths as follows: (1) all products of conception, regardless of birthweight or gestational age; (2) birthweight criteria or gestational age criteria; (3) birthweight criteria only; and (4) gestational age criteria only.
The authors found that
"State differences in fetal death reporting requirements appear to influence important differences in the reported number of early neonatal deaths and fetal deaths," conclude the authors. They add, "the adoption of a uniform criterion for reporting fetal deaths in all states would reduce systematic differences in the reporting of live births and fetal deaths, and give a more accurate record of state early neonatal and fetal mortality rates and their associated racial disparities."
Tyler CP, Grady SC, Grigorescu V, et al. 2012. Impact of fetal death reporting requirements on early neonatal and fetal mortality rates and racial disparities. Public Health Reports 127(5):507-515. Available to subscribers at http://www.publichealthreports.org/issuecontents.cfm?Volume=127&Issue=5
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