Steven Verhulst

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois, United States

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Publications (108)305.13 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Most breast cancer survivors (BCS) are not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines. Here, we report the effects of the Better Exercise Adherence after Treatment for Cancer (BEAT Cancer) behavior change intervention on physical activity, aerobic fitness, and quality of life (QoL). We randomized 222 post-primary treatment BCS to the 3-month intervention (BEAT Cancer) or usual care (UC). BEAT Cancer combined supervised exercise, face-to-face counseling, and group discussions with tapering to home-based exercise. Assessments at baseline, immediately post-intervention (month 3; M3), and 3 months post-intervention (month 6; M6) included accelerometer and self-reported physical activity, submaximal treadmill test, and QoL [Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-Breast scale]. Adjusted linear mixed-model analyses demonstrated significant effects of BEAT Cancer compared to UC on weekly minutes of ≥moderate intensity physical activity at M3 by accelerometer [mean between group difference (M) = +41; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 10-73; p = 0.010] and self-report (M = +93; CI = 62-123; p < 0.001). Statistical significance remained at M6 for self-reported physical activity (M = +74; CI = 43-105; p < 0.001). BEAT Cancer participants were significantly more likely to meet physical activity recommendations at both time points [accelerometer M3 adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.2; CI = 1.0-4.8 and M6 adjusted OR = 2.4; CI = 1.1-5.3; self-report M3 adjusted OR = 5.2; CI = 2.6-10.4 and M6 adjusted OR = 4.8; CI = 2.3-10.0]. BEAT Cancer significantly improved fitness at M6 (M = +1.8 ml/kg/min; CI = 0.8-2.8; p = 0.001) and QoL at M3 and M6 (M = +6.4; CI = 3.1-9.7; p < 0.001 and M = +3.8; CI = 0.5-7.2; p = 0.025, respectively). The BEAT Cancer intervention significantly improved physical activity, fitness, and QoL with benefits continuing 3 months post-intervention.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the contribution of social cognitive constructs to meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations in rural breast cancer survivors (BCS).
    American journal of health behavior 11/2014; 38(6):890-9. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To improve mechanistic understanding, this pilot randomized controlled trial examined mediators of an exercise intervention effects on sleep in breast cancer survivors (BCS).
    Psycho-Oncology 06/2014; · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the diagnostic justification proficiency of senior medical students across a broad spectrum of cases with common chief complaints and diagnoses. The authors gathered diagnostic justification exercise data from the Senior Clinical Comprehensive Examination taken by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's students from the classes of 2011 (n = 67), 2012 (n = 66), and 2013 (n = 79). After interviewing and examining standardized patients, students listed their key findings and diagnostic possibilities considered, and provided a written explanation of how they used key findings to move from their initial differential diagnoses to their final diagnosis. Two physician judges blindly rated responses. Student diagnostic justification performance was highly variable from case to case and often rated below expectations. Of the students in the classes of 2011, 2012, and 2013, 57% (38/67), 23% (15/66), and 33% (26/79) were judged borderline or poor on diagnostic justification performance for more than 50% of the cases on the examination. Student diagnostic justification performance was inconsistent across the range of cases, common chief complaints, and underlying diagnoses used in this study. More than 20% of students exhibited borderline or poor diagnostic justification performance on more than 50% of the cases. If these results are confirmed in other medical schools, attention needs to be directed to investigating new curricular methods that ensure deliberate practice of these competencies across the spectrum of common chief complaints and diagnoses and do not depend on the available mix of patients.
    Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 03/2014; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study aims to describe the effect of 0.9% saline (NS) versus 0.45% saline (half NS) when used during recovery phase of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children. Methods: A retrospective analysis of all children (1-18 years old) with DKA admitted in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) from 2005 to 2009 was undertaken. The primary end point was effect on serum electrolytes and acidosis. Results: Compared to 47 patients who received only NS (group A) throughout the recovery period and 33 patients who received NS but were switched to half NS (group B) at some point during recovery, 41 who received only half NS (group C) had a significant decrease in corrected serum sodium (P < .01). Hyperchloremia leading to nonanion gap acidosis was significantly greater in NS groups A and B than in half NS group C (P < .01). This led to increased duration of insulin infusion and length of stay in the PICU in the NS groups. Conclusions: Hyperchloremia resulting in nonanion gap acidosis can occur and may prolong the duration of insulin infusion and length of PICU stay in patients receiving NS as post-bolus rehydration fluid. Alternatively, the use of half NS may result in a decrease in serum-corrected sodium. Providers need to be vigilant toward this while using higher or lower sodium chloride when managing children with DKA. Larger trials are required to study the clinical significance of the results of this study.
    Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 01/2014; 29(1):38-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Examine mediators of fatigue response to an exercise intervention for breast cancer survivors (BCS) in a pilot randomized controlled trial. Postmenopausal BCS (n=46; ≤ Stage II), off primary treatment, and reporting fatigue and/or sleep dysfunction were randomized to a 3-month exercise intervention (160 minutes/week of moderate intensity aerobic walking, twice weekly resistance training with resistance bands) or control group. Six discussion group sessions provided behavioral support to improve adherence. Fatigue, serum cytokines, accelerometer physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, sleep dysfunction, and psychosocial factors were assessed at baseline and 3 months. Exercise intervention effect sizes for fatigue were: fatigue intensity d=0.30 (p=.34), interference d=-0.38 (p=.22), and general fatigue d=-0.49 (p=.13). Using Freedman-Schatzkin difference-in-coefficients tests, increase in fatigue intensity was significantly mediated by interleukin (IL)-6 (82%), IL-10 (94%), IL-6:IL-10 (49%), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha:IL-10 (78%) with reduced sleep dysfunction increasing the relationship between intervention and fatigue intensity rather than mediating intervention effects (-88%). Decrease in fatigue interference was mediated by sleep dysfunction (35%) while IL-10 and pro:anti-inflammatory cytokine ratios increased the relationship between intervention and interference (-25% to -40%). The reduction in general fatigue was significantly mediated by minutes of physical activity (76%), sleep dysfunction (45%), and physical activity enjoyment (40%) with IL-10 (-40%) and IL-6:IL-10 (-11%) increasing the intervention-fatigue relationship. In the intervention group, higher baseline fatigue, anxiety, depression, and perceived exercise barriers interference predicted a greater decline in fatigue interference and/or general fatigue during the intervention. Biobehavioral factors mediated and enhanced intervention effects on fatigue while psychosocial factors predicted fatigue response. Further study is warranted to confirm our results and improve understanding of relationships that mediate and strengthen the intervention-fatigue association.
    Medicine and science in sports and exercise 11/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study tested multiple dosing epochs of pre-loaded D-methionine (D-met) for otoprotection from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Design: Auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds were measured at baseline, 1 day, and 21 days following a 6-hour 105 dB sound pressure level (SPL) octave band noise (OBN) exposure. Outer hair cell (OHC) counts were measured after day 21 sacrifice. Study sample: Three groups of five Chinchillas laniger each were given a 2-day regimen comprising five doses of D-met (200 mg/kg/dose) intraperitoneally (IP) starting 2, 2.5, or 3 days prior to noise exposure. A control group (n = 5) received five doses of equivalent volume saline IP starting 2.5 days prior to noise exposure. Results: ABR threshold shifts from baseline to day-21 post-noise exposure were reduced in all D-met groups versus controls, reaching significance (p < 0.05) in the 3-day group. D-met groups showed reduced OHC loss relative to controls at day-21 post-noise exposure, reaching significance (p < 0.05) at all frequency regions in the 3-day group and at the 2, 4, and 8 kHz frequency regions in the 2.5-day group. Conclusions: D-met administration in advance of noise-exposure, without further administration, significantly protects from noise-induced ABR threshold shift and OHC loss.
    International journal of audiology 10/2013; · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS) is a neuroinflammatory disorder associated with remote cancer. To understand more clearly the role of inflammatory mediators, the concentration of CXCR3 ligands CXCL10, CXCL9 and CXCL11 was measured in 245 children with OMS and 81 paediatric controls using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and CXCR3 expression on CD4(+) T cells was measured by flow cytometry. Mean cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CXCL10 was 2·7-fold higher in untreated OMS than controls. Intrathecal production was demonstrated by significantly different CXCL10 CSF : serum ratios. The dichotomized 'high' CSF CXCL10 group had higher CSF leucocyte count (P = 0·0007) and B cell activating factor (BAFF) and CXCL13 concentrations (P < 0·0001). CSF CXCL10 did not correlate with clinical severity or relapse using grouped data, although it did in some patients. Among seven types of immunotherapy, including rituximab or chemotherapy, only adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) monotherapy showed reduced CSF CXCL10, but prospective longitudinal studies of ACTH combination therapies indicated no reduction in CXCL10 despite clinical improvement (P < 0·0001). CXCL10 concentrations were 11-fold higher in CSF and twofold higher in serum by multiplexed fluorescent bead-based immunoassay than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, but the two correlated (r = 0·7 and 0·83). In serum, no group differences for CXCL9 or CXCL11 were found. CXCR3 expression on CD4(+) T cells was fivefold higher in those from CSF than blood, but was not increased in OMS or altered by conventional immunotherapy. These data suggest alternative roles for CXCL10 in OMS. Over-expression of CXCL10 was not reduced by clinical immunotherapies as a whole, indicating the need for better therapeutic approaches.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 06/2013; 172(3):427-36. · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Teaching and Learning in Medicine 01/2013; 25(1):1-2. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a panel of seven brain cell-specific biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), pediatric opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS) (n = 234) was compared to pediatric non-inflammatory neurological controls (n = 84) and other inflammatory neurological disorders (OIND) (n = 44). Only CSF NFL was elevated in untreated OMS versus controls (+ 83%). It was 87% higher in OIND than in OMS. On combination treatment with front-loaded ACTH, IVIg, rituximab, median CSF NFL decreased by 60% to control levels. These biochemical data suggest neuronal/axonal injury in some children with OMS without indicators of astrogliosis, and reduction on sufficient immunotherapy.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 01/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Operative performance rating (OPR) instruments have been developed to assess operative performance (OP). To guide program implementation, this study determined: 1) Appropriate intervals for OP progress decisions, 2) Number of OPRs and raters required per interval to achieve reproducible results. 21 surgeons rated 897 OPs (3 procedures) by 36 residents. Six-month PGY intervals were compared to determine length of stable operative performance intervals. Variance component analyses established rating factor importance. Generalizability analyses and decision studies determined number of OPRs required for reproducible OP decisions (reliabilities = 0.80). Resident OPRs are stable across single PGY years. 2.3 OPRs/resident/month provided a dependable basis for annual or semi-annual resident OP decisions. Results were similar for all procedures and training years. Rater idiosyncrasies accounted for most score variation (63% when interaction effects involving rater idiosyncrasies were included). Resident ability was the next most important source of variation (12%). Procedure was a less important source (5%). Annual resident OP decisions are supported. 2.3 OPRs per month provide a dependable basis for judging resident OP. These numbers are sufficient regardless of training year or procedure mix though efforts should be made to balance procedure mix. Multiple raters should rate each resident to control for rater idiosyncrasies.
    Surgery 08/2012; 152(4):517-27. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of a randomized trial of resistance exercise in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation. METHODS: Fifteen patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation were randomized to resistance exercise (using resistance bands) or control group. Resistance exercise occurred at the radiation therapy site (weeks 1-6) and home (weeks 7-12). RESULTS: No serious adverse events occurred related to resistance exercise. Medium to large effect size differences favoring resistance exercise versus control group were noted for perceived fatigue at 6 weeks (smaller increase in fatigue for resistance exercise group; 7.4 vs 15.4, effect size [d] = -0.64), quality of life at 6 weeks (-7.0 vs -14.4, d = 0.52), and chair rise time (seconds) at 6 and 12 weeks (-1.6 vs 0.4, d = -.63 and -1.9 vs 0.1, d = -0.60, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Resistance exercise is safe and feasible in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation; a definitive trial is warranted. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
    Head & Neck 07/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The goal of this pilot study was to determine the magnitude and direction of intervention effect sizes for inflammatory-related serum markers and relevant health outcomes among breast cancer survivors (BCSs) receiving a physical activity behavior change intervention compared with usual care. METHODS: This randomized controlled trial enrolled 28 stage I, II, or IIIA BCSs who were post-primary treatment and not regular exercisers. Participants were assigned to either a 3-month physical activity behavior change intervention group (ING) or usual care group (UCG). Intervention included supervised aerobic (150 weekly minutes, moderate-intensity) and resistance (2 sessions per week) exercise that gradually shifted to home-based exercise. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 3 months. RESULTS: Cardiorespiratory fitness significantly improved in the ING versus the UCG (between-group difference = 3.8 mL/kg/min; d = 1.1; P = .015). Self-reported sleep latency was significantly reduced in the ING versus the UCG (between group difference = -0.5; d = -1.2; P = .02) as was serum leptin (between-group difference = -9.0 ng/mL; d = -1.0; P = .031). Small to medium nonsignificant negative effect sizes were noted for interleukin (IL)-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and ratios of IL-6 to IL-10, IL-8 to IL-10, and TNF-α to IL-10, whereas nonsignificant positive effect sizes were noted for IL-6 and high-molecular-weight adiponectin. CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity behavior change interventions in BCSs can achieve large effect size changes for several health outcomes. Although effect sizes for inflammatory markers were often small and not significant, changes were in the hypothesized direction for all except IL-6 and IL-10.
    Integrative Cancer Therapies 07/2012; · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    Jerry A Colliver, Melinda J Conlee, Steven J Verhulst
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    ABSTRACT: CONTEXT:   Major changes in thinking about validity have occurred during the past century, shifting the focus in thinking from the validity of the test to the validity of test score interpretations. These changes have resulted from the 'new' thinking about validity in which construct validity has emerged as the central or unifying idea of validity today. Construct validity was introduced by Cronbach and Meehl in the mid-1950s in an attempt to address the validity of those many psychological concepts that have no clear referent in reality. To do this, construct validity theory required a nomological network--an elaborate theoretical network of constructs and observations connected by scientific laws--to validate the constructs. However, nomological networks are hard to come by and none that would do the job required by construct validity has been forthcoming to date. Thus, the current construct validity approach has retreated to one of simply 'interpretation and argument', but this seems to be too general to tie down the constructs in the way a nomological network would do to give credibility to the validity of the construct. As a result, the concept of validity seems to have been watered down and the credibility of validity claims weakened. OBJECTIVES:  The purpose of this paper is to encourage a discussion of the use of construct validity in medical education, and to suggest that test developers and users reconsider the use of abstract theoretical constructs that have no referent apart from theory. METHODS:  We present a critical review of these concerns about construct validity and provide for contrast a brief overview of a recently proposed view of measurement based on scientific realism and causality analysis.
    Medical Education 04/2012; 46(4):366-71. · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test the efficacy and safety of corticotropin-based immunotherapies in pediatric opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome, 74 children received corticotropin alone or with intravenous immunoglobulin (groups 1 and 2, active controls); or both with rituximab (group 3) or cyclophosphamide (group 4); or with rituximab plus chemotherapy (group 5) or steroid sparers (group 6). There was 65% improvement in motor severity score across groups (P < .0001), but treatment combinations were more effective than corticotropin alone (P = .0009). Groups 3, 4, and 5 responded better than group 1; groups 3 and 5 responded better than group 2. The response frequency to corticotropin was higher than to prior corticosteroids (P < .0001). Fifty-five percent had adverse events (corticosteroid excess), more so with multiagents (P = .03); and 10% had serious adverse events. This study demonstrates greater efficacy of corticotropin-based multimodal therapy compared with conventional therapy, greater response to corticotropin than corticosteroid-based therapy, and overall tolerability.
    Journal of child neurology 02/2012; 27(7):875-84. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most breast cancer survivors do not engage in regular physical activity. Our physical activity behavior change intervention for breast cancer survivors significantly improved physical activity and health outcomes post-intervention during a pilot, feasibility study. Testing in additional sites with a larger sample and longer follow-up is warranted to confirm program effectiveness short and longer term. Importantly, the pilot intervention resulted in changes in physical activity and social cognitive theory constructs, enhancing our potential for testing mechanisms mediating physical activity behavior change. Here, we report the rationale, design, and methods for a two-site, randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of the BEAT Cancer physical activity behavior change intervention to usual care on short and longer term physical activity adherence among breast cancer survivors. Secondary aims include examining social cognitive theory mechanisms of physical activity behavior change and health benefits of the intervention. Study recruitment goal is 256 breast cancer survivors with a history of ductal carcinoma in situ or Stage I, II, or IIIA disease who have completed primary cancer treatment. Outcome measures are obtained at baseline, 3 months (i.e., immediately post-intervention), 6 months, and 12 months and include physical activity, psychosocial factors, fatigue, sleep quality, lower extremity joint dysfunction, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and waist-to-hip ratio. Confirming behavior change effectiveness, health effects, and underlying mechanisms of physical activity behavior change interventions will facilitate translation to community settings for improving the health and well-being of breast cancer survivors.
    Contemporary clinical trials 01/2012; 33(1):124-37. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although noninvasive positive pressure ventilation is increasingly used for respiratory distress, there is not much data supporting its use in children with status asthmaticus. The objective of this study was to determine safety, tolerability, and efficacy of early initiation of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in addition to standard of care in the management of children admitted with status asthmaticus. A prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trial. Twenty patients (1-18 yrs old) admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with status asthmaticus. Children were randomized to receive either noninvasive positive pressure ventilation plus standard of care (noninvasive positive pressure ventilation group) or standard of care alone (standard group). Improvement in clinical asthma score was significantly greater in noninvasive positive pressure ventilation group compared to standard group at 2 hrs, 4-8 hrs, 12-16 hrs, and 24 hrs after initiation of interventions (p < .01). A significant decrease in respiratory rate at ≥ 24 hrs oxygen requirement after 2 hrs was noted in noninvasive positive pressure ventilation group as compared to standard group (p = .01 and p = .03, respectively). Although statistically not significant, fewer children in the noninvasive positive pressure ventilation group required adjunct therapy compared to standard group (11% vs. 50%; p = .07). There were no major adverse events related to noninvasive positive pressure ventilation. Nine out of ten patients tolerated noninvasive positive pressure ventilation through the duration of the study; noninvasive positive pressure ventilation had to be discontinued in one patient because of persistent cough. Early initiation of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation, along with short acting β-agonists and systemic steroids, can be safe, well-tolerated, and effective in the management of children with status asthmaticus.
    Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 11/2011; 13(4):393-8. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sixty-four physician parents of infants cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were mailed a survey inquiring about privacy, emotional state, and communication. Fifty-seven (89%) physician parents responded. Forty-six (81%) infants were preterm. Responses were not associated with illness severity or hospital length of stay. Most respondents believed their infant received good care and achieved a good outcome, but suggestions to enhance communication were common, and their consideration may improve NICU care. Most physician parents believed their experience made them more empathetic and compassionate. Further investigation into the reasons for this may help to enhance future medical education.
    Children s Health Care 10/2011; 40(4):326-343. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously reported rescue from noise-induced auditory brainstem response (ABR) threshold shifts with d-methionine (d-met) administration 1 h after noise exposure. The present study investigated further d-met rescue intervals at 3, 5 and 7 h post-noise exposure. Chinchillas laniger were exposed to a 6 h 105 dB sound pressure level (dB SPL) octave band noise (OBN) and then administered d-met i.p. starting 3, 5, or 7 h after noise exposure; controls received saline i.p. immediately after noise exposure. ABR assessments were performed at baseline and on post-exposure days 1 and 21. Outer hair cell (OHC) loss was measured in cochleae obtained at sacrifice 21 days post-exposure. Administration of d-met starting at any of the delay times of 3-7 h post-noise exposure significantly reduced day 21 ABR threshold shift at 2 and 4 kHz and OHC loss at all hair cell regions measured (2, 4, 6 and 8 kHz). ABR threshold shifts in the control group at 6 and 8 kHz were only 8 and 11 dB respectively allowing little opportunity to observe protection at those 2 frequencies.
    Hearing research 09/2011; 282(1-2):138-44. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate trends in infant mortality rates and cesarean delivery rates for extremely preterm infants born in the United States. This national population-based study used public data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate extremely preterm infants born alive between 22 0/7 and 27 6/7 weeks of gestational age from 1999 to 2005. There were 177,552 extremely preterm infant births (fewer than 1% of all births) from 1999 to 2005. The number of annual extremely preterm births increased by 7% compared with a 4.5% increase for births at all gestations. During the study years, the extremely preterm infant mortality rate (percentage of infants who died in the first year) remained steady (range 33-34%; P=.22), whereas the cesarean delivery rate increased from 43% to 54% (P<.001). The infant mortality rate after cesarean delivery increased from 24% to 26% (P=.012). At each gestational age, the annual cesarean delivery rate increased over time (P<.001 for each), whereas gestational age-specific infant mortality rates were unchanged except for a 2% decline from 2004 to 2005 for infants born at 24 weeks of gestation (P=.01). A significant rise in the cesarean delivery rate in the United States from 1999 to 2005 for infants born at less than 28 weeks of gestation was not associated with an improvement in the infant mortality rate.
    Obstetrics and Gynecology 07/2011; 118(1):43-8. · 4.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
305.13 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
      Illinois, United States
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 1985–2011
    • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
      • • Department of Medical Education
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Department of Pharmacology
      • • Department of Neurology
      Springfield, Illinois, United States
  • 2008
    • University of New Mexico
      • Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
      Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 1983–1988
    • University of Illinois Springfield
      Спрингфилд, Florida, United States