The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
The obstetric risk factors for perinatal transmission of HIV-1 include preterm birth, prolonged rupture of the chorioamniotic membranes, and clinical and histological bacterial chorioamnionitis. A chronic chorioamnionitis precedes many cases of preterm labour and spontaneous rupture of membranes, whereas an acute chorioamnionitis is more common after rupture of the membranes at term. Amniotic fluid cytokines are raised in the presence of term and preterm intrauterine bacterial infections, and various cytokines seem able to attract HIV-1-infected leucocytes into the amniotic cavity and to increase replication of HIV-1. We postulate that the association of preterm birth and prolonged rupture of membranes with perinatal transmission of HIV-1 may result from an associated chronic or acute bacterial chorioamnionitis marked by the migration of HIV-1-infected maternal leucocytes into the amniotic cavity. Antibiotic treatment could prevent this sequence of events.
OBJECTIVES - Inadequate prenatal care is thought to be a major modifiable risk factor for preterm birth, the leading cause of neonatal mortality. To improve high-risk women's financial access to prenatal care, the U.S. Medicaid program underwent major expansions during the 1980s. We evaluated these expansions over the nine-year period 1983 to 1991 in Tennessee to determine their effects on Medicaid enrollment, use of prenatal care, and preterm birth.
METHODS - We used linked birth certificates, Medicaid data, and U.S. Census files to identify 610,056 singleton births to African-American or Caucasian women in Tennessee whose last menstrual period was between 1983 and 1991. These were classified by maternal characteristics to identify groups with the greatest postexpansion increases in Medicaid enrollment, which should have benefited most from the policy changes. Study outcomes were Medicaid enrollment by delivery, enrollment in the first trimester, inadequate prenatal care (modified Kessner index), and preterm (< 37 weeks) birth. We calculated the changes (delta expressed as births per 100) between 1983 and 1991 in percentages of births with each of these outcomes.
RESULTS - The expansions led to pronounced increases in maternal Medicaid enrollment by delivery (21% of births in 1983 to 51% by 1991) and in the first trimester (from 10% to 37%). Married women with < 12 years of education, < 25 years of age, and < $12,500 mean neighborhood incomes (group 1) had the greatest increase, where enrollment and first-trimester enrollment increased from 24% to 86% and 7% to 68%, respectively. In group 1, the percentages of births with inadequate maternal use of prenatal care decreased substantially, from 12.8% in 1983 to 6.4% in 1991, a reduction of 6.4 births per 100 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = -7.6, -5.3). However, the preterm birth rate did not decrease (9.1% in 1983, 9.4% in 1991, change of 0.3[-0.7 to 1.2] births per 100). For other births, there were lesser increases in Medicaid enrollment, correspondingly lesser decreases in inadequate use of prenatal care, but no reductions in preterm birth rates.
CONCLUSIONS - In Tennessee, the Medicaid expansions materially increased enrollment and use of prenatal care among high-risk women, but did not reduce the likelihood of preterm birth.
A prenatal care case-management program in Tennessee was evaluated to determine its effectiveness in improving the adequacy of prenatal care reducing the odds of preterm birth (gestation less than 37 weeks) and very low birth weight births (less than 1,500 g). The case-management program, Project HUG, included care provider referrals, visit scheduling, assistance with transportation and nutritional and health education. In a cohort of 66,051 Medicaid women with a birth during the period July 1989 through December 1991, 6% received HUG services. HUG participants had improved utilization of prenatal care, significantly decreased odds of inadequate perinatal care (an odds ratio of 0.71) and significantly increased odds of obtaining prenatal vitamins within 120 days of the last menstrual period (1.79). The apparent benefit of Project HUG was greater among blacks than among whites. However, there was no significant reduction in the incidence of preterm births or very low birth weight births among program participants
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that healthy Americans aged > 2 y reduce energy intake to maintain ideal body weight, saturated fat to 10% of energy, fat intake to 30% of energy, and cholesterol consumption to < 300 mg/d. Although these guidelines exclude pregnant or lactating women, nursing infants, and very young children, women with gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and familial hyperlipidemias may benefit from them. In a normal pregnancy, serum cholesterol and triglycerides rise 25-40% and 200-400%, respectively. Multiparous middle-aged women may have an increased incidence of angina and cholesterol gallstones from the hypercholesterolemia of pregnancy. Few studies support the safety of maternal low-fat diets for the developing fetus or demonstrate benefits to the mother. Polyunsaturated fatty acids lower serum lipids, and n-3 fatty acids may improve some obstetric complications. Arachidonic acid (20:4) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6) may benefit the psychomotor and visual development of children.
Epidermal growth factor is a polypeptide that stimulates proliferation and differentiation of a variety of cell types, including the developing intestinal epithelium; it is the agent in human milk that induces mitosis in human fibroblast culture. We systematically evaluated the EGF content of milk from 20 women delivering prematurely and from 11 women delivering at term. In preterm mothers, the concentration of EGF was 70 +/- 5 ng/ml (mean +/- SEM), with no significant change during seven weeks of lactation. EGF concentration in milk of term mothers was 68 +/- 19 ng/ml (mean +/- SEM). No diurnal variation in the concentration was found. Total EGF content was closely correlated with the volume of milk expressed, suggesting a passive transport from the circulation. These observations confirm that a substantial amount of EGF is present in human milk and that EGF concentrations are not affected by duration of gestation, time of day, or duration of lactation.