Document Detail

Causes of late fetal death in New Zealand 1980-1999.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15387867     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been an emerging interest in sudden unexplained intrauterine death.
AIMS: To determine the major causes of late fetal death (LFD) in New Zealand during 1980-1999 and to document the proportion of deaths considered unexplained. In addition, to quantify the number of LFD undergoing post-mortem during this period.
METHODS: Using the Office for National Statistics (UK) hierarchical classification system, all information available on death certificates was used to assign a single cause to LFD for the period 1980-1999. Trends were analysed using logistic regression and risk factor profiles established for each cause of death. Post-mortem rates and the characteristics of those failing to undergo post-mortem were analysed for the period 1989-1999.
RESULTS: LFD rates declined from 60.1 per 10 000 in 1980-1981 to 30.5 in 1998-1999. The declines were not uniform across all causes, with intrapartum deaths declining 73%, congenital anomalies 70% and antepartum asphyxia 50%. In contrast, unspecified deaths increased 1%, and with the decline in other causes of death, also increased proportionally, from 10.8% of LFD in 1980-81 to 28.1% in 1998-1999. Post-mortem rates fell by 31% during 1989-1999, with Maori and Pacific babies and those in more deprived New Zealand Deprivation Index areas being significantly less likely to undergo post-mortem.
CONCLUSIONS: While total LFD rates declined significantly during 1980-1999, rates of unspecified LFD remained static. Low post-mortem rates, however, suggest that many of these deaths may be uninvestigated rather than truly unexplained. Nevertheless, the persistence of a category of death which, to date, has failed to improve with advances in obstetric technology suggests that further measures are necessary if New Zealand's LFD rates are to continue to decline.
Elizabeth D Craig; Alistair W Stewart; Ed A Mitchell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0004-8666     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol     Publication Date:  2004 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-09-24     Completed Date:  2005-12-08     Revised Date:  2014-07-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0001027     Medline TA:  Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  441-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Asphyxia / complications,  mortality
Birth Weight
Cause of Death
Communicable Diseases / complications,  mortality
Congenital Abnormalities / mortality
Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects,  mortality
Fetal Death / epidemiology*,  etiology
Maternal Age
Multiple Birth Offspring
New Zealand / epidemiology
Risk Factors
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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