Women who were born prematurely are two thirds more likely to have premature babies according to the latest research.
A strong link between genetics and early births has been revealed after a study of 22,343 mother-daughter records at The University of Aberdeen.
They found that women are 60% more likely to give birth prematurely on their first pregnancy and 50% more likely on their subsequent preganancies if they were born prematurely themselves.
It was also found that premature births in siblings significantly increased the risk of premature labour.
‘Pre-term birth is the leading cause of death and long-term ill-health in babies and children in the developed world. Attempts to predict and prevent spontaneous pre-term births are compromised by gaps in out understanding of what causes the condition,’ said Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, a lecturer in Obstetric Epidemiology, who led the study.
‘Accurate prediction of risk would also help in planning appropriate antenatal care in women deemed to be at high risk‘, said Dr Bhattacharya.
Andy Cole, Chief Executive of Bliss, the special care baby charity said,‘We welcome any research that helps us better understand the causes of preterm birth and identify those at risk.
‘While this study’s finding are interesting, further research is still needed in this area,’ he said.