Research

Stillbirth rates in singleton pregnancies in a stable population at Karl Bremer and Tygerberg hospitals over 50 years

Hein J Odendaal, G Stefan Gebhardt, Gerhard B Theron

Abstract


Objectives. To determine the changes in stillbirth rates in singleton pregnancies in a stable population over a period of 50 years.

Methods. Stillbirth rates for singleton pregnancies where the fetus weighed 1 000 g or more were collected from 1962 to 2011. From 1972 to 2011, rates included fetuses weighing 500 g or more at birth.

Results. When the birth weight was 1 000 g or more the stillbirth rate declined from 70 to 12.6 per 1 000 births, and when the birth weight was 500 g or more it dropped from 34.2 to 24.5. The decline was very much slower towards the end of the study period.

Conclusion. To achieve further sustained reductions in stillbirth rates, healthcare workers should continue to emphasise quality of healthcare, but they should also address and prevent specific conditions associated with stillbirth, such as smoking and drinking during pregnancy.


Authors' affiliations

Hein J Odendaal, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Parow, Cape Town, South Africa

G Stefan Gebhardt, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Parow, Cape Town, South Africa

Gerhard B Theron, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Parow, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Stillbirth rate

Cite this article

South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2013;19(3):67-70. DOI:10.7196/sajog.662

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-02-06
Date published: 2013-09-03

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