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Rates of stillbirth by gestational age and cause in Inuit and First Nations populations in Quebec

February 19, 2013

Nathalie Auger MD MSc, Alison L. Park MSc, Hamado Zoungrana MSc, Nancy Gros-Louis McHugh MSc, Zhong-Cheng Luo MD PhD

Attention has recently been drawn to the paucity of data on rates and causes of stillbirth, a pregnancy outcome that is largely ignored compared with later deaths.1 Aboriginal populations in Canada rank at the top of the list of disadvantaged groups with the highest rates of stillbirth in the Western world.1 First Nations and Inuit, 2 distinct Aboriginal populations in Canada, have stillbirth rates that are 2–3 times that among non-Aboriginal Canadians.1,2 Although these trends are alarming, little data exist to guide prevention efforts among Aboriginal Canadians. Not much is known about how stillbirth rates in Aboriginal populations vary by gestational age or cause of death, despite evidence that prevention requires knowledge on the timing and cause of stillbirth.3 Opportunities for preventing stillbirth are typically greater after 28 weeks of gestation,4 particularly at term, but the absence of gestational age– and cause-specific comparisons between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians is a major impediment to reducing stillbirth rates. To gain a better understanding of the timing and causes of stillbirth in Inuit and First Nations populations, we estimated gestational age– and cause-specific fetal death rates in the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in the province of Quebec, where Inuit and First Nations people can be identifed by parental information on birth registration forms.

Download Rates of stillbirth by gestational age and cause in Inuit and First Nations populations in Quebec

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