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Table 2 Types of Preterm Birth and Risk Factors

From: Born Too Soon: The global epidemiology of 15 million preterm births

Type: Risk Factors: Examples: Interventions:*
Spontaneous preterm birth: Age at pregnancy and pregnancy spacing Adolescent pregnancy, advanced maternal age, or short inter-pregnancy interval Preconception care, including encouraging family planning beginning in adolescence and continuing between pregnancies
  Multiple pregnancy Increased rates of twin and higher order pregnancies with assisted reproduction Introduction and monitoring of policies for best practice in assisted reproduction
  Infection Urinary tract infections, asymptomatic bactiuria, malaria, HIV, syphilis, chorioamnionitis, bacterial vaginosis Sexual health programs aimed at prevention and treatment of infections prior to pregnancy. Specific interventions to prevent infections and mechanisms for early detection and treatment of infections occurring during pregnancy.
  Underlying maternal chronic medical conditions Diabetes, hypertension, anaemia, asthma, thyroid disease Improve control prior to conception and throughout pregnancy
  Nutritional Undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies See following papers in supplement [66, 67]
  Lifestyle/work related Smoking, excess alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, excess physical work/activity Behavior and community interventions targeting all women of childbearing age in general and for pregnant women in particular through antenatal care with early detection and treatment of pregnancy complications
  Maternal psychological health Depression, violence against women See following papers in supplement [66, 67]
  Genetic and other Genetic risk, e.g., family history Cervical incompetence Intra-uterine growth restriction Congenital abnormality See following papers in supplement [66, 67]
Provider-initiated preterm birth: Medical induction or cesarean birth for: Prior classical cesarean section, Placenta accrete. In addition to the above: Programs and policies to reduce the practice of non-medically indicated induction of labor or cesarean birth
  obstetric indication Fetal indication
Other - Not medically indicated
There is an overlap for indicated provider-initiated preterm birth with the risk factors for spontaneous preterm birth  
  1. *Broad categories of possible interventions are listed here. They provide examples of possible interventions and not all the risk factors given in the examples are amenable to these interventions.