What is it about?

In this study carried out in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, with 440,119 babies born between 259 and 293 days of gestation (median of 274 days) between 2012 and 2017. There were more early neonatal deaths for vaginal and cesarean deliveries in the early term period, but cesarean delivery had twice the risk of death. The loss of days of pregnancy was higher in private hospitals.

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Why is it important?

The results of this study, from the largest city in South America, can help to understand the role of “potential pregnancy days lost” (including both the effect of fetal immaturity and of interventions in provider-initiated births) in the causes of neonatal mortality, better informing public health policies on maternal and child health. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first Brazilian study on GA in days using a national live births database.


We hope that this study can contribute to a new look at the impact of interventions on the term period, which can no longer be understood as a uniform period. Babies born at the beginning of the term period have different characteristics from those born at full term, and should be better observed. In addition, working birth data in days has a much greater potential to reveal differences than using complete weeks.

Marcel Queiroz
Universidade Nove de Julho

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Neonatal mortality by gestational age in days in infants born at term: A cohort study in Sao Paulo city, Brazil, PLoS ONE, November 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277833.
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