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Perinatal mortality highest among South Asians

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Babies born to South Asian women are at a higher risk of perinatal mortality than babies born to black or white women, say UK researchers.

Babies born to South Asian women are at a higher risk of perinatal mortality than babies born to black or white women, say UK researchers.

They studied over 197,000 women who were expecting their first child and who delivered a single baby weighing at least 500 grams at 24 to 43 weeks.

They found that, at every stage of gestation, perinatal mortality was highest in South Asian women, and from term onwards, the upswing in risk occurred earliest and steepest in South Asian women, followed by black women.

The authors argue that increased foetal surveillance and growth monitoring from 40, rather than 41, weeks' gestation is needed for South Asian and black women.

BMJ First Online (2007) www.bmj.com

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