The influence of selected risk factors on premature birth - statistical research

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Abstract

For a very long time, scientists have been interested in preterm births, which are an extremely interesting object of research, and are worth investigating in context of a vast number of new clinical applications. A number of factors may contribute to the early termination of pregnancy, including groups related to the conditions of mother's organism. In this work, it was examined whether environmental, maternal and fetal factors could affect normal time of birth. Variables that were considered to influence the length of prenatal development were categorized as biological, describing the state of mother's health and pregnancy, and those describing the socio-economic status of parents. The research material was subjected to exploratory analysis. For categorized variables, numerical tables were constructed, and for quantitative variables the basic measures of position and variability were presented (mean, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, median, quartile distribution). To analyze the differences in the frequency distributions of the examined variables, the χ2 tests were used. To estimate the duration of the pregnancy of the tested mothers, the survival analysis (the product limit method - Kaplan-Meier method) was applied. The analysis showed a statistically significant effect on the duration of pregnancy and the nature of its course, indicating a shortening of pregnancy in the presence of risk factors (χ2=196,23; df = 4; p<0,001). The course of the curves shows an increase in the frequency of premature delivery in the case of clinically diagnosed risk factors. This will certainly provide a strong basis for improving the care of premature newborns and minimizing the risk for the mother.

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