Research agenda for preterm birth: Recommendations from the March of Dimes

Nancy S. Green, Karla Damus, Joe Leigh Simpson, Jay Iams, E. Albert Reece, Calvin J. Hobel, Irwin R. Merkatz, Michael F. Greene, Richard H. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Preterm birth (PTB) is a common, serious, and costly health problem affecting nearly 1 in 8 births in the United States. Burdens from PTB are especially severe for the very preterm infant (<32 weeks' gestation), comprising 2% of all US births. Successful prevention needs to include newly focused and adequately funded research, incorporating new technologies and recognition that genetic, environmental, social, and behavioral factors interact in complex pathogeneses and multiple pathways leading to PTB. The March of Dimes Scientific Advisory Committee created this prioritized research agenda, which is aimed at garnering serious attention and expanding resources to make major inroads into the prevention of PTB, targeting six major, overlapping categories: epidemiology, genetics, disparities, inflammation, biologic stress, and clinical trials. Analogous to other common, complex disorders, progress in prevention will require incorporating multipronged risk reduction strategies that are based on sound scientific discovery, as well as on effective translation into clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-635
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Common complex disorder
  • Prematurity
  • Research
  • Very preterm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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