Blood test can predict early labour

A new blood test can predict whether women showing signs of early labour will go on to give birth too soon, according to a study.

The international team, including researchers from the University of Western Australia, studied 150 women between 24 and 36 weeks gestation, who were admitted to hospital with threatened preterm labour. They found the blood test, based on screening for genetic signs linked to the start of labour, was able to distinguish between true and false labour in 70% of the women.

Researchers said preterm birth – that is, before 37 weeks – occurred in up to 11% of pregnancies worldwide and is the main cause of death and disease in unborn babies in the developed world.

Read more at University of Western Australia