Simon Cousens

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (168)2326.11 Total impact

  • The Lancet 06/2015; 385(9986). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61132-1
  • PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0126840. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126840
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    ABSTRACT: Many people recognise that mass media is important in promoting public health but there have been few attempts to measure how important. An ongoing trial in Burkina Faso (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01517230) is an attempt to bring together the very different worlds of mass media and epidemiology: to measure rigorously, using a cluster-randomised design, how many lives mass media can save in a low-income country, and at what cost. Application of the Lives Saved Tool predicts that saturation-based media campaigns could reduce child mortality by 10-20%, at a cost per disability-adjusted life-year that is as low as any existing health intervention. In this Viewpoint we explain the scientific reasoning behind the trial, while stressing the importance of the media methodology used. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    The Lancet 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61649-4
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Cause-of-death distributions are important for prioritising interventions. We estimated proportions, risks, and numbers of deaths (with uncertainty) for programme-relevant causes of neonatal death for 194 countries for 2000-2013, differentiating between the early (days 0-6) and late (days 7-27) neonatal periods. Methods: For 65 high-quality VR countries, we used the observed early and late neonatal proportional cause distributions. For the remaining 129 countries, we used multinomial logistic models to estimate the early and late proportional cause distributions. We used separate models, with different inputs, for low and high neonatal mortality countries. We applied these cause-specific proportions to neonatal death estimates from the United Nations by country/year to estimate cause-specific risks and numbers of deaths. Findings: Of the 2.76 million neonatal deaths in 2013, 0.99 (uncertainty: 0.70-1.31) million (35.7%) were estimated to be from preterm complications, 0.64 (uncertainty: 0.46-0.84) million (23.4%) from intrapartum-related complications, and 0.43 (0.22-0.66) million (15.6%) from sepsis. Preterm (40.8%) and intrapartum-related (27.0%) complications accounted for the majority of early neonatal deaths while infections caused nearly half of late neonatal deaths. In every region, preterm was the leading cause of neonatal death, with the highest risks in Southern Asia (11.9 per 1000 livebirths) and Sub-Saharan Africa (9.5). Conclusion: The neonatal cause-of-death distribution differs between the early and late periods, and varies with NMR level and over time. To reduce neonatal deaths, this knowledge must be incorporated into policy decisions. The Every Newborn Action Plan provides stimulus for countries to update national strategies and include high-impact interventions to address these causes.
    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 11/2014; 93(1). DOI:10.2471/BLT.14.139790
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    Shefali Oza, Simon N Cousens, Joy E Lawn
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    ABSTRACT: The days immediately after birth are the most risky for human survival, yet neonatal mortality risks are generally not reported by day. Early neonatal deaths are sometimes under-reported or might be misclassified by day of death or as stillbirths. We modelled daily neonatal mortality risk and estimated the proportion of deaths on the day of birth and in week 1 for 186 countries in 2013. We reviewed data from vital registration (VR) and demographic and health surveys for information on the timing of neonatal deaths. For countries with high-quality VR we used the data as reported. For countries without high-quality VR data, we applied an exponential model to data from 206 surveys in 79 countries (n=50 396 deaths) to estimate the proportions of neonatal deaths per day and used bootstrap sampling to develop uncertainty estimates. 57 countries (n=122 757 deaths) had high-quality VR, and modelled data were used for 129 countries. The proportion of deaths on the day of birth (day 0) and within week 1 varied little by neonatal mortality rate, income, or region. 1·00 million (36.3%) of all neonatal deaths occurred on day 0 (uncertainty range 0·94 million to 1·05 million), and 2·02 million (73.2%) in the first week (uncertainty range 1·99 million to 2·05 million). Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest risk of neonatal death and, therefore, had the highest risk of death on day 0 (11·2 per 1000 livebirths); the highest number of deaths on day 0 was seen in southern Asia (n=392 300). The risk of early neonatal death is very high across a range of countries and contexts. Cost-effective and feasible interventions to improve neonatal and maternity care could save many lives. Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme. Copyright © 2014 Oza et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by .. All rights reserved.
    The Lancet Global Health 10/2014; 2(11). DOI:10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70309-2
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    ABSTRACT: Background Trend data for causes of child death are crucial to inform priorities for improving child survival by and beyond 2015. We report child mortality by cause estimates in 2000–13, and cause-specific mortality scenarios to 2030 and 2035. Methods We estimated the distributions of causes of child mortality separately for neonates and children aged 1–59 months. To generate cause-specific mortality fractions, we included new vital registration and verbal autopsy data. We used vital registration data in countries with adequate registration systems. We applied vital registration-based multicause models for countries with low under-5 mortality but inadequate vital registration, and updated verbal autopsy-based multicause models for high mortality countries. We used updated numbers of child deaths to derive numbers of deaths by causes. We applied two scenarios to derive cause-specific mortality in 2030 and 2035. Findings Of the 6·3 million children who died before age 5 years in 2013, 51·8% (3·257 million) died of infectious causes and 44% (2·761 million) died in the neonatal period. The three leading causes are preterm birth complications (0·965 million [15·4%, uncertainty range (UR) 9·8−24·5]; UR 0·615–1·537 million), pneumonia (0·935 million [14·9%, 13·0–16·8]; 0·817–1·057 million), and intrapartum-related complications (0·662 million [10·5%, 6·7–16·8]; 0·421–1·054 million). Reductions in pneumonia, diarrhoea, and measles collectively were responsible for half of the 3·6 million fewer deaths recorded in 2013 versus 2000. Causes with the slowest progress were congenital, preterm, neonatal sepsis, injury, and other causes. If present trends continue, 4·4 million children younger than 5 years will still die in 2030. Furthermore, sub-Saharan Africa will have 33% of the births and 60% of the deaths in 2030, compared with 25% and 50% in 2013, respectively. Interpretation Our projection results provide concrete examples of how the distribution of child causes of deaths could look in 15–20 years to inform priority setting in the post-2015 era. More evidence is needed about shifts in timing, causes, and places of under-5 deaths to inform child survival agendas by and beyond 2015, to end preventable child deaths in a generation, and to count and account for every newborn and every child. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    The Lancet 09/2014; 385(9966). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61698-6
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    ABSTRACT: Background Bacterial infections are a leading cause of the 2.9 million annual neonatal deaths. Treatment is usually based on clinical diagnosis of possible severe bacterial infection (pSBI). To guide programme planning, we have undertaken the first estimates of neonatal pSBI, by sex and by region, for sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and Latin America. Methods We induded data for pSBI incidence in neonates of 32 weeks' gestation or more (or birthweight >= 1500 g) with livebirth denominator data, undertaking a systematic review and forming an investigator group to obtain unpublished data. We calculated pooled risk estimates for neonatal pSBI and case fatality risk, by sex and by region. We then applied these risk estimates to estimates of livebirths in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and Latin America to estimate cases and associated deaths in 2012. Findings We induded data from 22 studies, for 259 944 neonates and 20 196 pSBI cases, with most of the data (18 of the 22 studies) coming from the investigator group. The pooled estimate of pSBI incidence risk was 7.6% (95% CI 6.1-9.2%) and the case-fatality risk associated with pSBI was 9.8% (7.4-12.2). We estimated that in 2012 there were 6.9 million cases (uncertainty range 5.5 million-8.3 million) of pSBI in neonates needing treatment: 3.5 million (2.8 million-4.2 million) in south Asia, 2.6 million (2.1 million-3.1 million) in sub-Saharan Africa, and 0.8 million (0.7 million-1.0 million) in Latin America. The risk of pSBI was greater in boys (risk ratio 1.12, 95% CI 1.06-1.18) than girls. We estimated that there were 0.68 million (0.46 million-0.92 million) neonatal deaths associated with pSBI in 2012. Interpretation The need-to-treat population for pSBI in these three regions is high, with ten cases of pSBI diagnosed for each associated neonatal death. Deaths and disability can be reduced through improved prevention, detection, and case management.
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70804-7
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    Sapna Desai, Tara Sinha, Ajay Mahal, Simon Cousens
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    ABSTRACT: Background Community-based health insurance has been associated with increased hospitalisation in low-income settings, but with limited analysis of the illnesses for which claims are submitted. A review of claims submitted to VimoSEWA, an inpatient insurance scheme in Gujarat, India, found that fever, diarrhoea and hysterectomy, the latter at a mean age of 37 years, were the leading reasons for claims by adult women. We compared the morbidity, outpatient treatment-seeking and hospitalisation patterns of VimoSEWA-insured women with uninsured women. Methods We utilised data from a cross-sectional survey of 1,934 insured and uninsured women in Gujarat, India. Multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of insurance coverage and the association of insurance with hospitalisation. Self-reported data on morbidity, outpatient care and hospitalisation were compared between insured and uninsured women. Results Age, marital status and occupation of adult women were associated with insurance status. Reported recent morbidity, type of illness and outpatient treatment were similar among insured and uninsured women. Multivariable analysis revealed strong evidence of a higher odds of hospitalisation amongst the insured (OR = 2.7; 95% ci. 1.6, 4.7). The leading reason for hospitalisation for uninsured and insured women was hysterectomy, at a similar mean age of 36, followed by common ailments such as fever and diarrhoea. Insured women appeared to have a higher probability of being hospitalised than uninsured women for all causes, rather than specifically for fever, diarrhoea or hysterectomy. Length of stay was similar while choice of hospital differed between insured and uninsured women. Conclusions Despite similar reported morbidity patterns and initial treatment-seeking behaviour, VimoSEWA members were more likely to be hospitalised. The data did not provide strong evidence that inpatient hospitalisation replaced outpatient treatment for common illnesses or that insurance was the primary inducement for hysterectomy in the population. Rather, it appears that VimoSEWA members behaved differently in deciding if, and where, to be hospitalised for any condition. Further research is required to explore this decision-making process and roles, if any, played by adverse selection and moral hazard. Lastly, these hospitalisation patterns raise concerns regarding population health needs and access to quality preventive and outpatient services.
    BMC Health Services Research 07/2014; 14(1):320. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-320
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    ABSTRACT: In Sub-Saharan Africa over one million newborns die annually. We developed a sustainable and scalable home-based counselling intervention for delivery by community volunteers in rural southern Tanzania to improve newborn care practices and survival. Here we report the effect on newborn care practices one year after full implementation.
    BMC Pediatrics 07/2014; 14(1):187. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-14-187
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    ABSTRACT: Each year almost 3 million newborns die within the first 28 days of life, 2.6 million babies are stillborn, and 287,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth worldwide. Effective and cost-effective interventions and behaviours for mothers and newborns exist, but their coverage remains inadequate in low- and middle-income countries, where the vast majority of deaths occur. Cost-effective strategies are needed to increase the coverage of life-saving maternal and newborn interventions and behaviours in resource-constrained settings.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 07/2014; 14(1):243. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-243
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly a decade ago, The Lancet published the Neonatal Survival Series, with an ambitious call for integration of newborn care across the continuum of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition (RMNCH). In this first of five papers in the Every Newborn Series, we consider what has changed during this decade, assessing progress on the basis of a systematic policy heuristic including agenda-setting, policy formulation and adoption, leadership and partnership, implementation, and evaluation of effect. Substantial progress has been made in agenda setting and policy formulation for newborn health, as witnessed by the shift from maternal and child health to maternal, newborn, and child health as a standard. However, investment and large-scale implementation have been disappointingly small, especially in view of the size of the burden and potential for rapid change and synergies throughout the RMNCH continuum. Moreover, stillbirths remain invisible on the global health agenda. Hence that progress in improvement of newborn survival and reduction of stillbirths lags behind that of maternal mortality and deaths for children aged 1–59 months is not surprising. Faster progress is possible, but with several requirements: clear communication of the interventions with the greatest effect and how to overcome bottlenecks for scale-up; national leadership, and technical capacity to integrate and implement these interventions; global coordination of partners, especially within countries, in provision of technical assistance and increased funding; increased domestic investment in newborn health, and access to specific commodities and equipment where needed; better data to monitor progress, with local data used for programme improvement; and accountability for results at all levels, including demand from communities and mortality targets in the post-2015 framework. Who will step up during the next decade to ensure decision making in countries leads to implementation of stillbirth and newborn health interventions within RMNCH programmes?
    The Lancet 07/2014; 384(9938). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60458-X
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    ABSTRACT: In this Series paper, we review trends since the 2005 Lancet Series on Neonatal Survival to inform acceleration of progress for newborn health post-2015. On the basis of multicountry analyses and multi-stakeholder consultations, we propose national targets for 2035 of no more than 10 stillbirths per 1000 total births, and no more than 10 neonatal deaths per 1000 livebirths, compatible with the under-5 mortality targets of no more than 20 per 1000 livebirths. We also give targets for 2030. Reduction of neonatal mortality has been slower than that for maternal and child (1–59 months) mortality, slowest in the highest burden countries, especially in Africa, and reduction is even slower for stillbirth rates. Birth is the time of highest risk, when more than 40% of maternal deaths (total about 290 000) and stillbirths or neonatal deaths (5·5 million) occur every year. These deaths happen rapidly, needing a rapid response by health-care workers. The 2·9 million annual neonatal deaths worldwide are attributable to three main causes: infections (0·6 million), intrapartum conditions (0·7 million), and preterm birth complications (1·0 million). Boys have a higher biological risk of neonatal death, but girls often have a higher social risk. Small size at birth—due to preterm birth or small-for-gestational-age (SGA), or both—is the biggest risk factor for more than 80% of neonatal deaths and increases risk of post-neonatal mortality, growth failure, and adult-onset non-communicable diseases. South Asia has the highest SGA rates and sub-Saharan Africa has the highest preterm birth rates. Babies who are term SGA low birthweight (10·4 million in these regions) are at risk of stunting and adult-onset metabolic conditions. 15 million preterm births, especially of those younger than 32 weeks' gestation, are at the highest risk of neonatal death, with ongoing post-neonatal mortality risk, and important risk of long-term neurodevelopmental impairment, stunting, and non-communicable conditions. 4 million neonates annually have other life-threatening or disabling conditions including intrapartum-related brain injury, severe bacterial infections, or pathological jaundice. Half of the world's newborn babies do not get a birth certificate, and most neonatal deaths and almost all stillbirths have no death certificate. To count deaths is crucial to change them. Failure to improve birth outcomes by 2035 will result in an estimated 116 million deaths, 99 million survivors with disability or lost development potential, and millions of adults at increased risk of non-communicable diseases after low birthweight. In the post-2015 era, improvements in child survival, development, and human capital depend on ensuring a healthy start for every newborn baby—the citizens and workforce of the future.
    The Lancet 07/2014; 384(9938). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60496-7
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Neonatal mortality and morbidity are increasingly recognized as important globally, but detailed estimates of neonatal morbidity from conditions and long-term consequences are yet to be published.Methods:We describe the general methods for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and modeling used in this supplement, highlighting differences from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD2010) inputs and methods. For five conditions (preterm birth, retinopathy of prematurity, intrapartum-related conditions, neonatal infections, and neonatal jaundice), a standard three-step compartmental model was applied to estimate-by region, for 2010-the numbers of (i) affected births by sex, (ii) postneonatal survivors, and (iii) impaired postneonatal survivors. For conditions included in GBD2010 analyses (preterm birth and intrapartum-related conditions), impairment at all ages was estimated, and disability weights were applied to estimate years lived with disability (YLD) and summed with years of life lost (YLL) to calculate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).Results:GBD2010 estimated neonatal conditions (preterm birth, intrapartum-related, neonatal sepsis, and "other neonatal") to be responsible for 202 million DALYs or 8.1% (7.3-9.0%) of the worldwide total. Mortality contributed 95% of the DALYs, and the estimated 26% reduction in neonatal condition DALYs since 1990 is primarily due to a 44% reduction in neonatal mortality rate due to these conditions, counterbalanced by increased numbers of babies born (17%). Impairment following neonatal conditions remained stable globally and is therefore relatively more important, especially in high- and middle-income countries. Crucial data gaps were identified.Conclusion:These results confirm neonatal conditions as a significant burden, reemphasizing the need to reduce deaths further, to count the linked 2.6 million stillbirths, and to better measure and address their long-term effects.
    Pediatric Research 12/2013; 74 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):4-16. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.203
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    ABSTRACT: Background:In 2010, there were an estimated 15 million preterm births worldwide (<37 wk gestation). Survivors are at risk of adverse outcomes, and burden estimation at global and regional levels is critical for priority setting.Methods:Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were undertaken to estimate the risk of long-term neurodevelopmental impairment for surviving preterm babies according to the level of care. A compartmental model was used to estimate the number of impaired postneonatal survivors following preterm birth in 2010. A separate model (DisMod-MR) was used to estimate years lived with disability (YLDs) for the global burden of disease 2010 study. Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were calculated as the sum of YLDs and years of life lost (YLLs).Results:In 2010, there were an estimated 13 million preterm births who survived beyond the first month. Of these, 345,000 (2.7%, uncertainty range: 269,000-420,000) were estimated to have moderate or severe neurodevelopmental impairment, and a further 567,000 (4.4%, (445,000-732,000)) were estimated to have mild neurodevelopmental impairment. Many more have specific learning or behavioral impairments or reduced physical or mental health. Fewest data are available where the burden is heaviest. Preterm birth was responsible for 77 million DALYs, 3.1% of the global total, of which only 3 million were YLDs.Conclusion:Most preterm births (>90%) survive without neurodevelopmental impairment. Developing effective means of prevention of preterm birth should be a longer term priority, but major burden reduction could be made immediately with improved coverage and quality of care. Improved newborn care would reduce mortality, especially in low-income countries and is likely to reduce impairment in survivors, particularly in middle-income settings.
    Pediatric Research 12/2013; 74 Suppl 1:17-34. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.204
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Survivors of neonatal infections are at risk of neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI), a burden not previously systematically quantified and yet important for program priority setting. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were undertaken and applied in a three-step compartmental model to estimate NDI cases after severe neonatal bacterial infection in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America in neonates of >32 wk gestation (or >1,500 g).Methods:We estimated cases of sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, or no severe bacterial infection from among estimated cases of possible severe bacterial infection ((pSBI) step 1). We applied respective case fatality risks ((CFRs) step 2) and the NDI risk among survivors (step 3). For neonatal tetanus, incidence estimates were based on the estimated deaths, CFRs, and risk of subsequent NDI.Results:For 2010, we estimated 1.7 million (uncertainty range: 1.1-2.4 million) cases of neonatal sepsis, 200,000 (21,000-350,000) cases of meningitis, 510,000 cases (150,000-930,000) of pneumonia, and 79,000 cases (70,000-930,000) of tetanus in neonates >32 wk gestation (or >1,500 g). Among the survivors, we estimated moderate to severe NDI after neonatal meningitis in 23% (95% confidence interval: 19-26%) of survivors, 18,000 (2,700-35,000) cases, and after neonatal tetanus in 16% (6-27%), 4,700 cases (1,700-8,900).Conclusion:Data are lacking for impairment after neonatal sepsis and pneumonia, especially among those of >32 wk gestation. Improved recognition and treatment of pSBI will reduce neonatal mortality. Lack of follow-up data for survivors of severe bacterial infections, particularly sepsis, was striking. Given the high incidence of sepsis, even minor NDI would be of major public health importance. Prevention of neonatal infection, improved case management, and support for children with NDI are all important strategies, currently receiving limited policy attention.
    Pediatric Research 12/2013; 74 Suppl 1:73-85. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.207
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Rhesus (Rh) disease and extreme hyperbilirubinemia (EHB) result in neonatal mortality and long-term neurodevelopmental impairment, yet there are no estimates of their burden.Methods:Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were undertaken of national prevalence, mortality, and kernicterus due to Rh disease and EHB. We applied a compartmental model to estimate neonatal survivors and impairment cases for 2010.Results:Twenty-four million (18% of 134 million live births ≥32 wk gestational age from 184 countries; uncertainty range: 23-26 million) were at risk for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia-related adverse outcomes. Of these, 480,700 (0.36%) had either Rh disease (373,300; uncertainty range: 271,800-477,500) or developed EHB from other causes (107,400; uncertainty range: 57,000-131,000), with a 24% risk for death (114,100; uncertainty range: 59,700-172,000), 13% for kernicterus (75,400), and 11% for stillbirths. Three-quarters of mortality occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Kernicterus with Rh disease ranged from 38, 28, 28, and 25/100,000 live births for Eastern Europe/Central Asian, sub-Saharan African, South Asian, and Latin American regions, respectively. More than 83% of survivors with kernicterus had one or more impairments.Conclusion:Failure to prevent Rh sensitization and manage neonatal hyperbilirubinemia results in 114,100 avoidable neonatal deaths and many children grow up with disabilities. Proven solutions remain underused, especially in low-income countries.
    Pediatric Research 12/2013; 74 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):86-100. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.208
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Intrapartum hypoxic events ("birth asphyxia") may result in stillbirth, neonatal or postneonatal mortality, and impairment. Systematic morbidity estimates for the burden of impairment outcomes are currently limited. Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) following an intrapartum hypoxic event is a strong predictor of long-term impairment.Methods:Linear regression modeling was conducted on data identified through systematic reviews to estimate NE incidence and time trends for 184 countries. Meta-analyses were undertaken to estimate the risk of NE by sex of the newborn, neonatal case fatality rate, and impairment risk. A compartmental model estimated postneonatal survivors of NE, depending on access to care, and then the proportion of survivors with impairment. Separate modeling for the Global Burden of Disease 2010 (GBD2010) study estimated disability adjusted life years (DALYs), years of life with disability (YLDs), and years of life lost (YLLs) attributed to intrapartum-related events.Results:In 2010, 1.15 million babies (uncertainty range: 0.89-1.60 million; 8.5 cases per 1,000 live births) were estimated to have developed NE associated with intrapartum events, with 96% born in low- and middle-income countries, as compared with 1.60 million in 1990 (11.7 cases per 1,000 live births). An estimated 287,000 (181,000-440,000) neonates with NE died in 2010; 233,000 (163,000-342,000) survived with moderate or severe neurodevelopmental impairment; and 181,000 (82,000-319,000) had mild impairment. In GBD2010, intrapartum-related conditions comprised 50.2 million DALYs (2.4% of total) and 6.1 million YLDs.Conclusion:Intrapartum-related conditions are a large global burden, mostly due to high mortality in low-income countries. Universal coverage of obstetric care and neonatal resuscitation would prevent most of these deaths and disabilities. Rates of impairment are highest in middle-income countries where neonatal intensive care was more recently introduced, but quality may be poor. In settings without neonatal intensive care, the impairment rate is low due to high mortality, which is relevant for the scale-up of basic neonatal resuscitation.
    Pediatric Research 12/2013; 74 Suppl 1:50-72. DOI:10.1038/pr.2013.206
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    ABSTRACT: This second paper in the Born Too Soon supplement presents a review of the epidemiology of preterm birth, and its burden globally, including priorities for action to improve the data. Worldwide an estimated 11.1% of all livebirths in 2010 were born preterm (14.9 million babies born before 37 weeks of gestation), with preterm birth rates increasing in most countries with reliable trend data. Direct complications of preterm birth account for one million deaths each year, and preterm birth is a risk factor in over 50% of all neonatal deaths. In addition, preterm birth can result in a range of long-term complications in survivors, with the frequency and severity of adverse outcomes rising with decreasing gestational age and decreasing quality of care. The economic costs of preterm birth are large in terms of immediate neonatal intensive care, ongoing long-term complex health needs, as well as lost economic productivity. Preterm birth is a syndrome with a variety of causes and underlying factors usually divided into spontaneous and provider-initiated preterm births. Consistent recording of all pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirths, and standard application of preterm definitions is important in all settings to advance both the understanding and the monitoring of trends. Context specific innovative solutions to prevent preterm birth and hence reduce preterm birth rates all around the world are urgently needed. Strengthened data systems are required to adequately track trends in preterm birth rates and program effectiveness. These efforts must be coupled with action now to implement improved antenatal, obstetric and newborn care to increase survival and reduce disability amongst those born too soon. Declaration This article is part of a supplement jointly funded by Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme through a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and March of Dimes Foundation and published in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The original article was published in PDF format in the WHO Report "Born Too Soon: the global action report on preterm birth" (ISBN 978 92 4 150343 30), which involved collaboration from more than 50 organizations. The article has been reformatted for journal publication and has undergone peer review according to Reproductive Health's standard process for supplements and may feature some variations in content when compared to the original report. This co-publication makes the article available to the community in a full-text format.
    Reproductive Health 11/2013; 10(Suppl 1):S2. DOI:10.1186/1742-4755-10-S1-S2
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    Zulfiqar A Bhutta, Simon Cousens, Sajid Soofi
    The Lancet 10/2013; 382(9899):1172-1173. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62053-X
  • Revue d Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique 10/2013; 61:S324. DOI:10.1016/j.respe.2013.07.409

Publication Stats

10k Citations
2,326.11 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1989–2015
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • • Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
      • • Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of International Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Save the Children
      Вэстпорт, Connecticut, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi
      • Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
      Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • 2010
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • NHS Blood and Transplant
      Watford, England, United Kingdom
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of International Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2008
    • Aga Khan University, Pakistan
      Kurrachee, Sindh, Pakistan
  • 1999–2007
    • Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme
      Wagadugu, Centre, Burkina Faso
  • 2004
    • Institute for Child Health Policy (ICHP)
      International Falls, Minnesota, United States
  • 1993–2002
    • Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital
      Заря, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • 1996
    • University of Camerino
      Camerino, The Marches, Italy
  • 1990
    • Overseas Development Institute
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom