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The effect of maternal age and planned place of birth on intrapartum outcomes in healthy women with straightforward pregnancies: Secondary analysis of the Birthplace national prospective cohort study
Objectives: To describe the relationship between maternal age and intrapartum outcomes in 'low-risk' women; and to evaluate whether the relationship between maternal age and intrapartum interventions and adverse outcomes differs by planned place of birth. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Obstetric units (OUs), midwifery units and planned home births in England. Participants: 63 371 women aged over 16 without known medical or obstetric risk factors, with singleton pregnancies, planning vaginal birth. Methods: Log Poisson regression was used to evaluate the association between maternal age, modelled as a continuous and categorical variable, and risk of intrapartum interventions and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. Main outcome measures: Intrapartum caesarean section, instrumental delivery, syntocinon augmentation and a composite measure of maternal interventions/ adverse outcomes requiring obstetric care encompassing augmentation, instrumental delivery, intrapartum caesarean section, general anaesthesia, blood transfusion, third-degree/fourth-degree tear, maternal admission; adverse perinatal outcome (encompassing neonatal unit admission or perinatal death). Results: Interventions and adverse maternal outcomes requiring obstetric care generally increased with age, particularly in nulliparous women. For nulliparous women aged 16-40, the risk of experiencing an intervention or adverse outcome requiring obstetric care increased more steeply with age in planned non-OU births than in planned OU births (adjusted RR 1.21 per 5-year increase in age, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.25 vs adjusted RR 1.12, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.15) but absolute risks were lower in planned non-OU births at all ages. The risk of neonatal unit admission or perinatal death was significantly raised in nulliparous women aged 40+ relative to women aged 25-29 (adjusted RR 2.29, 95% CI 1.28 to 4.09). Conclusions: At all ages, 'low-risk' women who plan birth in a non-OU setting tend to experience lower intervention rates than comparable women who plan birth in an OU. Younger nulliparous women appear to benefit more from this reduction than older nulliparous women.
Objective: To evaluate mortality among patients with Parkinson's disease receiving different treatment. Design: Cohort study based on computerised medical records. Setting: UK General Practice Research Database. Subjects: 12,621 patients aged between 35 and 90 years who had received a prescription for an antiparkinsonian drug, whether or not a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease had been recorded. Patients prescribed an antipsychotic drug before or at the same time as their first antiparkinsonian drug or before age 35 were excluded to avoid including drug-induced Parkinsonism. Main outcome measure: Death from any cause. Results: 1720 deaths occurred during 14,000 person-years of observation. There was a non-significant 11% (95% confidence interval 0% to 23%) increase in the risk of death associated with taking selegiline either alone or in combination with levodopa. The death rate was higher among younger patients (aged under 80 years) and those with a recorded diagnosis of Parkinson's disease taking selegiline alone. Conclusions: The results are compatible with a small excess mortality in people taking selegiline and suggest a larger excess in patients under 80 years of age and those with a confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson's disease taking selegiline without levodopa.
A comparison of intrapartum interventions and adverse outcomes by parity in planned freestanding midwifery unit and alongside midwifery unit births: Secondary analysis of 'low risk' births in the birthplace in England cohort
© 2017 The Author(s). Background: For low risk women, there is good evidence that planned birth in a midwifery unit is associated with a reduced risk of maternal interventions compared with planned birth in an obstetric unit. Findings from the Birthplace cohort study have been interpreted by some as suggesting a reduced risk of interventions in planned births in freestanding midwifery units (FMUs) compared with planned births in alongside midwifery units (AMUs). However, possible differences have not been robustly investigated using individual-level Birthplace data. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data on 'low risk' women with singleton, term, 'booked' pregnancies collected in the Birthplace national prospective cohort study. We used logistic regression to compare interventions and outcomes by parity in 11,265 planned FMU births and 16,673 planned AMU births, adjusted for potential confounders, using planned AMU birth as the reference group. Outcomes considered included adverse perinatal outcomes (Birthplace primary outcome measure), instrumental delivery, intrapartum caesarean section, 'straightforward vaginal birth', third or fourth degree perineal trauma, blood transfusion and maternal admission for higher-level care. We used a significance level of 1% for all secondary outcomes. Results: There was no significant difference in adverse perinatal outcomes between planned AMU and FMU births. The odds of instrumental delivery were reduced in planned FMU births (nulliparous: aOR 0.63, 99% CI 0.46-0.86; multiparous: aOR 0.41, 99% CI 0.25-0.68) and the odds of having a 'straightforward vaginal birth' were increased in planned FMU births compared with planned AMU births (nulliparous: aOR 1.47, 99% CI 1.17-1.85; multiparous: 1.86, 99% CI 1.35-2.57). The odds of intrapartum caesarean section did not differ significantly between the two settings (nulliparous: p = 0.147; multiparous: p = 0.224). The overall pattern of findings suggested a trend towards lower intervention rates and fewer adverse maternal outcomes in planned FMU births compared with planned AMU births. Conclusions: The findings support the recommendation that 'low risk' women can be informed that planned birth in an FMU is associated with a lower rate of instrumental delivery and a higher rate of 'straightforward vaginal birth' compared with planned birth in an AMU; and that outcomes for babies do not appear to differ between FMUs and AMUs.
The UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS): A programme of work to establish a research infrastructure to carry out national studies of uncommon conditions and events in midwifery units
© 2016 Rowe et al. Background: Midwifery-led care during labour and birth in the UK is increasingly important given national commitments to choice of place of birth, reduction of unnecessary intervention and improving women's experience of care, and evidence on safety and benefits for 'low risk' women. Further evidence is needed on safety and potential benefits of midwifery-led care for some groups of 'higher risk' women and about uncommon adverse outcomes or 'near-miss' events. Uncommon obstetric events and conditions have been investigated since 2005 using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System. This programme of research will establish the UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS) in all UK alongside midwifery units (AMUs) and carry out the first two UKMidSS studies investigating: (i) outcomes in severely obese women admitted to AMUs, and (ii) risk factors for neonatal unit admission following birth in an AMU. Methods: We will carry out national cohort and case-control studies using UKMidSS, a national data collection platform which we will establish to collect anonymised information from all UK AMUs. Reporting midwives in each AMU will actively report cases or nil returns in response to monthly notification emails. Denominator data on the number of women admitted to and giving birth in each AMU will also be collected. Anonymised data on risk factors, management and outcomes for cases and controls/comparators as appropriate for each study, will be collected electronically using information from medical records. We will calculate incidence and prevalence with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs), tabulate descriptive data using frequencies and proportions, and use logistic regression to estimate odds ratios with 95 % CIs comparing specific outcomes in case and comparison women and to investigate risk factors for conditions or outcomes. Discussion: As the first national infrastructure facilitating research into uncommon events and conditions in women starting labour in midwifery-led settings, UKMidSS builds on the success of other national research systems. UKMidSS studies will extend the evidence base regarding the quality and safety of midwifery-led intrapartum care and investigate extending the benefits of midwifery-led care to more women. As a national collaboration of midwives contributing to high quality research, UKMidSS will provide an infrastructure to support midwifery research capacity development.
The effectiveness of antenatal care programmes to reduce infant mortality and preterm birth in socially disadvantaged and vulnerable women in high-income countries: A systematic review
Background: Infant mortality has shown a steady decline in recent years but a marked socioeconomic gradient persists. Antenatal care is generally thought to be an effective method of improving pregnancy outcomes, but the effectiveness of specific antenatal care programmes as a means of reducing infant mortality in socioeconomically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of women has not been rigorously evaluated.Methods: We conducted a systematic review, focusing on evidence from high income countries, to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative models of organising or delivering antenatal care to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of women vs. standard antenatal care. We searched Medline, Embase, Cinahl, PsychINFO, HMIC, CENTRAL, DARE, MIDIRS and a number of online resources to identify relevant randomised and observational studies. We assessed effects on infant mortality and its major medical causes (preterm birth, congenital anomalies and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)). Results: We identified 36 distinct eligible studies covering a wide range of interventions, including group antenatal care, clinic-based augmented care, teenage clinics, prenatal substance abuse programmes, home visiting programmes, maternal care coordination and nutritional programmes. Fifteen studies had adequate internal validity: of these, only one was considered to demonstrate a beneficial effect on an outcome of interest. Six interventions were considered 'promising'.Conclusions: There was insufficient evidence of adequate quality to recommend routine implementation of any of the programmes as a means of reducing infant mortality in disadvantaged/vulnerable women. Several interventions merit further more rigorous evaluation. © 2011 Hollowell et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Women's birth place preferences in the United Kingdom: A systematic review and narrative synthesis of the quantitative literature
© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Current clinical guidelines and national policy in England support offering 'low risk' women a choice of birth setting, but despite an increase in provison of midwifery units in England the vast majority of women still give birth in obstetric units and there is uncertainty around how best to configure services. There is therefore a need to better understand women's birth place preferences. The aim of this review was to summarise the recent quantitative evidence on UK women's birth place preferences with a focus on identifying the service attributes that 'low risk' women prefer and on identifying which attributes women prioritise when choosing their intended maternity unit or birth setting. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Science Citation Index, Social Science Index, CINAHL and ASSIA to identify quantitative studies published in scientific journals since 1992 and designed to describe and explore women's preferences in relation to place of birth. We included experimental stated preference studies, surveys and mixed-methods studies containing relevant quantitative data, where participants were 'low risk' or 'unselected' groups of women with experience of UK maternity services. Results: We included five experimental stated preference studies and four observational surveys, including a total of 4201 respondents. Most studies were old with only three conducted since 2000. Methodological quality was generally poor. The attributes and preferences most commonly explored related to pain relief, continuity of midwife, involvement/availability of medical staff, 'homely' environment/atmosphere, decision-making style, distance/travel time and need for transfer. Service attributes that were almost universally valued by women included local services, being attended by a known midwife and a preference for a degree of control and involvement in decision-making. A substantial proportion of women had a strong preference for care in a hospital setting where medical staff are not necessarily involved in their care, but are readily available. Conclusions: The majority of women appear to value some service attributes while preferences differ for others. Policy makers, commissioners and service providers might usefully consider how to extend the availability of services that most women value while offering a choice of options that enable women to access services that best fit their needs and preferences.
Immersion in water for pain relief and the risk of intrapartum transfer among low risk nulliparous women: Secondary analysis of the Birthplace national prospective cohort study
Background: Immersion in water during labour is an important non-pharmacological method to manage labour pain, particularly in midwifery-led care settings where pharmacological methods are limited. This study investigates the association between immersion for pain relief and transfer before birth and other maternal outcomes.Methods: A prospective cohort study of 16,577 low risk nulliparous women planning birth at home, in a freestanding midwifery unit (FMU) or in an alongside midwifery unit (AMU) in England between April 2008 and April 2010.Results: Immersion in water for pain relief was common; 50% in planned home births, 54% in FMUs and 38% in AMUs. Immersion in water was associated with a lower risk of transfer before birth for births planned at home (adjusted RR 0.88; 95% CI 0.79-0.99), in FMUs (adjusted RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.50-0.70) and in AMUs (adjusted RR 0.78; 95% CI 0.69-0.88). For births planned in FMUs, immersion in water was associated with a lower risk of intrapartum caesarean section (RR 0.61; 95% CI 0.44-0.84) and a higher chance of a straightforward vaginal birth (RR 1.09; 95% CI 1.04-1.15). These beneficial effects were not seen in births planned at home or AMUs.Conclusions: Immersion of water for pain relief was associated with a significant reduction in risk of transfer before birth for nulliparous women. Overall, immersion in water was associated with fewer interventions during labour. The effect varied across birth settings with least effect in planned home births and a larger effect observed for planned FMU births. © 2014 Lukasse et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Duration and urgency of transfer in births planned at home and in freestanding midwifery units in England: Secondary analysis of the birthplace national prospective cohort study
Background: In England, there is a policy of offering healthy women with straightforward pregnancies a choice of birth setting. Options may include home or a freestanding midwifery unit (FMU). Transfer rates from these settings are around 20%, and higher for nulliparous women. The duration of transfer is of interest because of the potential for delay in access to specialist care and is also of concern to women. We aimed to estimate the duration of transfer in births planned at home and in FMUs and explore the effects of distance and urgency on duration.Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data collected in a national prospective cohort study including 27,842 'low risk' women with singleton, term, 'booked' pregnancies, planning birth in FMUs or at home in England from April 2008 to April 2010. We described transfer duration using the median and interquartile range, for all transfers and those for reasons defined as potentially urgent or non-urgent, and used cumulative distribution curves to compare transfer duration by urgency. We explored the effect of distance for transfers from FMUs and described outcomes in women giving birth within 60 minutes of transfer.Results: The median overall transfer time, from decision to transfer to first OU assessment, was shorter in transfers from home compared with transfers from FMUs (49 vs 60 minutes; p < 0.001). The median duration of transfers before birth for potentially urgent reasons (home 42 minutes, FMU 50 minutes) was 8-10 minutes shorter compared with transfers for non-urgent reasons. In transfers for potentially urgent reasons, the median overall transfer time from FMUs within 20 km of an OU was 47 minutes, increasing to 55 minutes from FMUs 20-40 km away and 61 minutes in more remote FMUs. In women who gave birth within 60 minutes after transfer, adverse neonatal outcomes occurred in 1-2% of transfers.Conclusions: Transfers from home or FMU commonly take up to 60 minutes from decision to transfer, to first assessment in an OU, even for transfers for potentially urgent reasons. Most transfers are not urgent and emergencies and adverse outcomes are uncommon, but urgent transfer is more likely for nulliparous women. © 2013 Rowe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Ethnic variation in unexplained deaths in infancy, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), England and Wales 2006-2012: National birth cohort study using routine data
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. Background: Unexplained deaths in infancy comprise 'sudden infant death syndrome' (SIDS) and deaths without ascertained cause. They are typically sleep-related, perhaps triggered by unsafe sleep environments. Preterm birth may increase risk, and varies with ethnicity. We aimed to compare ethnic-specific rates of unexplained infant death, explore sociodemographic explanations for ethnic variation, and examine the role of preterm birth. Methods: We analysed routine data for 4.6 million live singleton births in England and Wales 2006-2012, including seven non-White ethnic groups ranging in size from 29 313 (Mixed Black-African-White) to 180 265 (Pakistani). We calculated rates, birth-year-adjusted ORs, and effects of further adjustments on the Ξ2 for ethnic variation. Results: There were 1559 unexplained infant deaths. Crude rates per 1000 live singleton births were as follows: 0.1-0.2 for Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, White Non-British, Black African; 0.4 for White British; 0.6-0.7 for Mixed Black-African-White, Mixed Black-Caribbean-White, Black Caribbean. Birth-year-adjusted ORs relative to White British ranged from 0.38 (95% CI 0.24 to 0.60) for Indian babies to 1.73 (1.21 to 2.47) for Black Caribbean (Ξ2(10 df)=113.6, p<0.0005). Combined adjustment for parents' marital/registration status and mother's country of birth (UK/non-UK) attenuated the ethnic variation. Adjustments for gestational age at birth, maternal age and area deprivation made little difference. Conclusion: Substantial ethnic disparity in risk of unexplained infant death exists in England and Wales. Apparently not attributable to preterm birth or area deprivation, this may reflect cultural differences in infant care. Further research into infant-care practices in low-risk ethnic groups might enable more effective prevention of such deaths in the general population.
We describe a powerful new information resource for pharmacovigilance, pharmaco-economic studies, clinical epidemiology and health service research, which involves automated linkage of demographic, diagnostic and prescription information on some 3.4 million patients enrolled in over 500 separate general practices. Information is subject to regular validation checks. Access to this resource is available for bona fide research workers, subject to appropriate safeguards for patient anonymity and for scientific and ethical standards of the proposed studies. This database has depended upon the participating general practitioners and has already resulted in a substantial output of studies in peer-reviewed literature. It has great potential for further work of major relevance to public health, and its increasing use is to be actively encouraged.
Drug interactions and risk of acute bleeding leading to hospitalisation or death in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation treated with warfarin
Although drug interactions with warfarin are an important cause of excessive anticoagulation, their impact on the risk of serious bleeding is unknown. We therefore performed a cohort study and a nested case-control analysis to determine the risk of serious bleeding in 4152 patients (aged 40-84 years) with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) taking long-term warfarin (>3 months). The study population was drawn from the UK General Practice Research Database. More than half (58%) of eligible patients used potentially interacting drugs during continuous warfarin treatment. Among 45 identified cases of incident idiopathic bleeds (resulting in hospitalisation within 30 days or death within 7 days) and 143 matched controls, more cases than controls took ≥1 potentially interacting drug within the preceding 30 days (62.2% vs. 35.7%) and used >4 drugs (polypharmacy) within the preceding 90 days (80.0% vs. 66.4%). Conditional logistic regression analysis yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 3.4 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.4-8.5) for the risk of serious bleeding in patients treated with warfarin and ≥1 drugs potentially increasing the effect of warfarin vs. warfarin alone adjusted for polypharmacy, diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, and thyroid disease; the adjusted OR for the combined use of warfarin and aspirin vs. warfarin alone was 4.5 (95% CI: 1.1-18.1). We conclude that concurrent use of potentially interacting drugs with warfarin is associated with a 3 to 4.5-fold increased risk of serious bleeding in long-term warfarin users. © 2005 Schattauer GmbH, Stuttgart.
Transfers of women planning birth in midwifery units: Data from the Birthplace prospective cohort study
Objective To examine the percentage of women transferred, reasons for transfer and factors associated with the transfer of women planning birth in midwifery units (MUs). Design Prospective cohort study. Setting All freestanding midwifery units (FMUs) and alongside midwifery units (AMUs) in England. Participants Twenty-nine thousand, two hundred and forty-eight eligible women with a singleton, term and 'booked' pregnancy, planning birth in an MU between April 2008 and April 2010. Methods Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with transfer. Main outcome measures Transfer during labour or within 24 hours of birth. Results Over one in four women were transferred from AMUs and over one in five from FMUs. In both types of MU, compared with multiparous women aged 25-29 years, nulliparous women aged <20 years had higher odds of transfer (FMU-adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.10-6.57; AMU-adjusted OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.18-2.06), and the odds of transfer increased with increasing age. Nulliparous women aged â¥35 years in FMUs had 7.4 times the odds of transfer (95% CI, 5.43-10.10) and, in AMUs, 6.0 times the odds of transfer (95% CI, 4.81-7.41). Starting labour care after 40 weeks of gestation and the presence of complicating conditions at the start of labour care were also independently associated with a higher risk of transfer. Conclusions Transfer from MUs is common, especially for first-time mothers. This study provides evidence on the maternal characteristics associated with an increased risk of transfer, which can be used to inform women's choices about place of birth. © 2012 RCOG.
Social inequalities in infant mortality can be clearly demonstrated in the countries of the United Kingdom with a social gradient between different groups. Marked variations in infant mortality between ethnic groups are also evident in England and Wales, with the highest rates seen in Pakistani and Caribbean infants and the lowest rates in the white and Bangladeshi groups. Although individual risk factors for infant mortality are well understood, the reasons why certain social and ethnic groups have higher rates remain to be fully elucidated. Policies and interventions to tackle these inequalities are likely to be most effective if they have both universal and targeted components to "level-up" rates to the rate of the most advantaged in society. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.