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July 12, 1952


Author Affiliations

Department of Endocrinology Philadelphia General Hospital Philadelphia 4

JAMA. 1952;149(11):1052-1053. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930280074019

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To the Editor:—  The work that was described by Dr. H. L. Stewart Jr. in his article "Duration of Pregnancy and Postmaturity" (J. A. M. A.148:1079 [March 29] 1952) has, without doubt, cast much light on the true duration of pregnancy. In a group of 135 women, he was able to determine the elapsed time between ovulation or conception (as detected by the basal body temperature method) and the onset of spontaneous labor. He found that this interval ranged between 250 and 285 days, with an average of "266 to 270 days." Furthermore, he was able to demonstrate that, in his series, what seemed to be prolongation of pregnancy was only apparent, being due to the fact that duration was counted from the first day of the last menstrual period. This led to errors in the estimate of pregnancy duration when ovulation was unusually delayed after the last

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