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Study Finds Link Between Increases In Preterm Births, Induced Labors

Aired 9/6/12 on KPBS News.

A new study suggests a rise in preterm births and medically-induced labors are linked.

— A new study finds the rising number of preterm births appears to be associated with the rising number of medically induced labors. Doctors say it's an area of concern.

Nationwide between 1992 and 2004, the number of preterm births rose by 30 percent. Researchers found the number of medically induced labors almost doubled during the same period.

UC San Diego OB-GYN physician Dr. Maryam Tarsa said some doctors allow women to dictate when they're going to give birth. But she doesn't.

"We should not play God," she insisted. "Unless there's an indication, either that I feel that mom's health is in danger or baby's health is in danger, I'm actually pretty hands-offish, unless they're significantly beyond their due date."

Tarsa said giving birth preterm, before 37 weeks, increases the risk of complications. She says a statewide effort is underway to reduce the number of preterm births.

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