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April 1946

CAUSES OF PREMATURITYVI. Influence of Toxemia on the Incidence of Prematurity

Am J Dis Child. 1946;71(4):378-386. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1946.02020270048005

TOXEMIA pregnancy has been considered one of the important causes of premature delivery. In a review of 21 previous reports,1 the incidence of toxemia among the mothers of premature infants was found to vary from 1.4 to 29.9 per cent. Our preliminary study2 demonstrated that toxemia had occurred in 25.7 per cent of the mothers of premature infants and in 19.5 per cent of mothers of full term infants, a difference on the borderline of significance.

The diagnosis of toxemia is not so clearcut as that of many other illnesses, and this fact may explain some of the wide variations in the figures reported. It is also possible that prematurity rates in the previous studies were influenced by the occurrence of other maternal diseases associated with toxemia or by a greater tendency on the part of some physicians to induce premature labor deliberately to safeguard the mother's health.

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