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Dr. Hamisu Salihu and colleagues publish article on infant mortality and risk for subsequent preterm birth


Hamisu Salihu 2

Public health researcher Hamisu Salihu, MD, PhD is co-author on a publication entitled “All-cause infant mortality and the risk for subsequent preterm birth.”  The study is in the October issue of Minerva ginecologica.

Dr. Salihu, a professor of epidemiology, directs the USF College of Public Health’s Occupational Medicine Residency Program and the Center for Research and Evaluation for the Lawton & Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies. His academic home is the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  The department offers concentrations in epidemiology that lead to MPH, MSPH, and PhD degrees, as well several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and special programs. Most recently, the department added an online master of public health degree in epidemiology to its academic offerings.

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Salihu HM, August EM, De La Cruz C, Weldeselasse H, Sanchez E, Alio AP, Marty PJ. All-cause infant mortality and the risk for subsequent preterm birth.Minerva Ginecol. 2013 Oct;65(5):557-66.


University of South Florida, College of Medicine & College of Public Health Tampa, FL, USA – hsalihu@health.usf.edu.


Aim: The aim of this paper was to assess the association between all-cause infant mortality (death<365 days) in the first pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth (<37 weeks of gestation) in the second pregnancy. Methods: Using the Missouri maternally linked dataset from 1989 to 2005 (N.=639134 singleton live births), we conducted a population-based retrospective cohort analysis with women who had two singleton births between 1989 and 2005. We employed Cox Proportional Hazards Regression to generate adjusted hazard ratios (AHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to approximate relative risks. Results: Prior infant mortality was associated with an increased risk for preterm birth in the second pregnancy (AHR=1.96, 95% CI=1.80-2.13). For black women, the risk of preterm birth following infant mortality was more than three-fold (AHR=3.37, 95% CI=2.92-3.89), while the risk for white women was twice as high (AHR=2.04, 95% CI=1.86-2.26) (referent=white women without infant death in the first pregnancy). Conclusion: Women with a history of infant mortality are at risk for preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. This risk was significantly elevated for black women. These findings provide further evidence that previous childbearing experiences play a critical role in the occurrence of adverse feto-infant outcomes.

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