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Editorial
July 26, 2016

Improving Birth Outcomes Key to Improving Global Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;316(4):395-396. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.9851

Optimizing birth outcomes is critical to improving global health not only for children, but also for the mother and family. Children who are born small, which is common in preterm births and complicated pregnancies, have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life.1 Similarly, some pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, have been found to increase the risk of maternal cardiac disease.2 Improving birth outcomes by optimizing pregnancy, reducing pregnancy complications, and delivering at the appropriate time can improve lifelong health for the mother and child, thereby benefitting the family unit and the broader community.

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