Individualizing the risk for preterm birth: An overview of the literature

Melanie Van os, Jeanine Van Der Ven, Brenda Kazemier, Monique Haak, Eva Pajkrt, Ben W. Mol, Christianne de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Preterm birth is the most important cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, and ranks among the top 10 of global causes of burden of disease. Since treatment of threatened preterm delivery has limited effectiveness, the focus is on primary and secondary prevention. Identification of risk indicators in early pregnancy provides the opportunity for preventive measures. To determine the potential impact of individualized risk indicators on the prediction of preterm birth, we reviewed the literature on this topic. Risk indicators for spontaneous preterm birth can be categorized in five groups; characteristics of the individual (ethnicity/race), characteristics of the fetus (fetal gender fetal number and chorionicity), obstetric history (history of preterm birth), modifiable risk indicators (social status, life style, infection) and signs of early labour; potential predictors (sonographic markers, biomarkes). Risk for preterm birth can be seen as a continuous transition from one state to the other. The number of studies that integrate these data is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • cervical length
  • ethnicity
  • fetal fibronectin
  • history of preterm birth
  • prediction models
  • preterm birth
  • risk indicators
  • singleton pregnancy
  • socio-economic indicators


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