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Editorial
March 19, 2014

Adverse Fetal OutcomesExpanding the Role of Infection

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Infectious Disease, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
JAMA. 2014;311(11):1115-1116. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1889

Infectious diseases contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirths, perinatal complications, and deaths in newborns. A population-based study suggested that infection accounted for 12.9% of fetal loss by stillbirth in the United States.1 Worldwide, among 7.6 million deaths in children younger than 5 years in 2010, approximately 1 million deaths were attributed to preterm birth complications.2 Intrapartum-related complications and neonatal sepsis and meningitis also rank as leading causes of death, together accounting for more than 1 million deaths in newborns globally.2 Given the magnitude of the burden of perinatal deaths, clarifying the extent that bacterial infections result in stillbirth and preterm delivery could potentially inform interventions to improve child and maternal health globally.

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