New report on stillbirth and neonatal death rates

Research published today involving our university shows that the stillbirth rate in the UK has reduced by almost 8% over the period 2013 to 2015. A current Government ambition is to halve the rates of stillbirth and neonatal death in England by 2030. These findings indicate that things are moving in the right direction.

The MBRRACE-UK report focuses on rates of stillbirth and neonatal death across the UK for babies born at 24 weeks of gestation or more. The report found that in 2015 the stillbirth rate was 3.87 per 1,000 total births, a fall from 4.20 per 1,000 total births in 2013. Nevertheless, despite this reduction UK stillbirth rates still remain high compared to many similar European countries and there remains significant variation across the UK that is not solely explained by some of the important factors that influence the rate of death such as poverty, mother’s age, multiple birth and ethnicity.

The fall in the stillbirth rate was focussed in those born at term. Professor Elizabeth Draper, Professor of Perinatal and Paediatric Epidemiology at our University said: “Whilst the overall findings are good news, as two thirds of all stillbirths are born preterm we need to identify the extent to which preterm stillbirths are avoidable to enable the development of practices and policies to prevent these stillbirths and to reduce any variation in the quality of care across the UK”.

 

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