A new study into the causes of premature
births is to be carried out at Leeds, following a £30,000
grant from the Rescue Foundation. Over 9,000 babies are
born each year in the LGI and St James's University Hospital,
and of these more than one in ten are born before 37 weeks,
and over 2% before 32 weeks.
research, by consultant gynaecologist Nigel Simpson, focuses
on the role of cytokines chemical messengers in
the body Ñ which are important in triggering the onset
of labour. He hopes to determine why, in premature births,
these substances are released before pregnancies have
reached their full term.
Simpson said: "Babies born prematurely are far more likely
to develop serious health problems than full term babies,
some of which can affect them for the rest of their lives.
This research project should lead to a better understanding
of the causes, enabling us to take steps to reduce the
number of premature births in the future."
money from the Rescue Foundation a national charity
which addresses the nature and causes of neurological
disorders in children will also fund two medical
students to carry out a related BSc research project.