Born dead: Over 3 million stillbirths every year

May 01, 2006

One large group of deaths yet to count or to be counted are stillbirths - babies born dead during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, according to an Article published early online today (Tuesday May 2, 2006) by The Lancet.

There is little information available for stillbirths, and no systematic national estimates have previously been published. Dr Joy Lawn (Saving Newborn Lives Initiative, Cape Town, South Africa), Dr Cindy Stanton (John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland USA), and colleagues assessed data from 103 countries, and after using statistical models to correct for under-reporting, conclude that there were an estimated 3.2million stillbirths worldwide each year (with an uncertainty range of 2.5 to 4.1 million).

Data from three sources were used - countries with available vital registration data, demographic and health surveys, and finally data from studies identified through a systematic review. The final data consisted of 323 observations from 103 countries, and all world regions were presented. Under-reporting of stillbirths is a major problem. The countries with the highest risk of stillbirth have the least data that is useable and recent.

Stillbirth rates range from five per 1000 total births in rich countries, to 32 per 1000 total births in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Low income countries such as Egypt have credible evidence of a decline in stillbirth rates, closely linked to the decline in maternal mortality.

The authors conclude: "Our estimates suggest that 3.2 million babies are born dead every year, and the true figure is probably higher given the limitations of the available data and the fact that stillbirths are under-reported. Better counting is not just for better epidemiology. The deaths of most of these babies are avoidable... In the 21st century we invest in detailing the human genome, but cannot even approximately count this huge number of dead babies. We are left to wonder if stillbirths count".
Dr Joy Lawn, Saving Newborn Lives Initiative, 11 South Way, Pinelands, Cape Town 7405, South Africa. T) +27 21 532 3494 / +44 7989528724 (UK mobile) E)
From May 8: Save the Children/USA, Suite 500, 200 M Street, Washington DC, 20036, USA. T) +01 202 293 4170

Dr Cindy Stanton, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland USA. T) +01 301 741 5871


Related Data Articles from Brightsurf:

Keep the data coming
A continuous data supply ensures data-intensive simulations can run at maximum speed.

Astronomers are bulging with data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy's bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way's formation and history.

Novel method for measuring spatial dependencies turns less data into more data
Researcher makes 'little data' act big through, the application of mathematical techniques normally used for time-series, to spatial processes.

Ups and downs in COVID-19 data may be caused by data reporting practices
As data accumulates on COVID-19 cases and deaths, researchers have observed patterns of peaks and valleys that repeat on a near-weekly basis.

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.

Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.

Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.

Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.

Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.

Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.

Read More: Data News and Data Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to