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September 1, 1945

Current Comment

JAMA. 1945;129(1):74-75. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860350076017

CHILD SPACING AND STILLBIRTHS  Eastman1 recently suggested that youth is a better ally than child spacing to the health of the mother and her child. This conclusion was based on an analysis of over 5,000 Baltimore births. Now, however, Yerushalmy,2 who has made a statistical study of more than 7 million births, comes to a different conclusion. He found that the lowest stillbirth rates do not occur among the youngest mothers where "youth" might be expected to be the dominant factor. The rate is relatively high for mothers between the ages of 15 and 19 years (33.7) and drops to 23.3 for mothers between 20 and 24, increasing thereafter with the age of the mother to 56.2 in the 40 to 44 age bracket. The rate of stillbirths varies also according to the number of children born: there is a definitely lowered stillbirth rate for the sixth child