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March 14, 2017

Unproven Technologies in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the High Cost of US Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
JAMA. 2017;317(10):1025-1026. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.1218

Preterm birth is one of the leading health indicators among nations, as it is the most frequent cause of neonatal death and the second most frequent cause of death in children younger than 5 years worldwide.1-3 In the United States alone, complications related to preterm birth account for approximately two-thirds of all infant deaths.4 Infants born preterm who do survive have significantly higher risks of long-term morbidity, including serious neurologic and developmental disabilities. In 2005, the Institute of Medicine estimated that the annual societal cost of preterm birth in the United States was $26 billion.1,5