n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Stillbirth rates in singleton pregnancies in a stable population at Karl Bremer and Tygerberg hospitals over 50 years : research

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2329
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



To determine the changes in stillbirth rates in singleton pregnancies in a stable population over a period of 50 years.

Stillbirth rates for singleton pregnancies where the fetus weighed ≥1 000 g were collected from 1962 to 2011. From 1972 to 2011, rates included fetuses weighing ≥500 g at birth.
When the birth weight was ≥1 000 g, the stillbirth rate declined from 70 to 12.6 per 1 000 births, and when the birth weight was ≥500 g, it dropped from 34.2 to 24.5 per 1 000 births. The decline was very much slower towards the end of the study period.
To achieve further sustained reductions in stillbirth rates, healthcare workers should continue to emphasise quality of healthcare, but should also address and prevent specific conditions associated with stillbirth, such as smoking and drinking during pregnancy.

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