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1.  Serial aEEG recordings in a cohort of extremely preterm infants: feasibility and safety 
Amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) monitoring is increasing in the neonatal population, but the safety and feasibility of performing aEEG in extremely preterm infants have not been systematically evaluated.
Inborn infants 230/7 – 286/7 weeks gestation or birth weight 401–1000 grams were eligible. Serial, six-hour aEEG recordings were obtained from first week of life until 36 weeks postmenstrual age. Adverse events were documented, and surveys evaluated the impact of the aEEGs on routine care. Success of performing aEEGs according to protocol and aEEG quality were assessed.
102 infants were enrolled, with 755 recordings performed. 83% of recordings were performed according to schedule, and 96% were without adverse event. Bedside nurses reported no interference with routine care for 89% of recordings. 92% of recordings had acceptable signal quality.
Serial aEEG monitoring is safe in preterm infants, with few adverse events and general acceptance by nursing staff.
PMCID: PMC4414657  PMID: 25474559
2.  What happens to the posterior compartment and bowel symptoms after sacrocolpopexy? Evaluation of 5-year outcomes from E-Care 
To describe posterior prolapse (pPOP) and obstructed defecation (OD) symptoms 5 years after open abdominal sacrocolpopexy (ASC).
We grouped Extended Colpopexy And urinary Reduction Efforts (E-CARE) trial participants with baseline and 5-year outcomes into 3 groups using baseline posterior POP-Q points and concomitant posterior repair (PR): No PR (Ap<0); No PR (Ap≥0); and +PR. Posterior colporrhaphy, perineorrhaphy or sacrocolpoperineopexy were included as PR, which was performed at surgeon’s discretion. Outcomes were dichotomized into presence/absence of pPOP (Ap≥0) and OD symptoms (≥2 on one or more questions about digital assistance, excessive straining, or incomplete evacuation). Composite failure was defined by both pPOP and OD symptoms or pPOP reoperation.
Ninety participants completed baseline and 5 year outcomes or were retreated with mean follow-up of 7.1±1.0 years. Of those with No PR (Ap<0), two women [2/36 (9%)] developed new pPOP with OD symptoms; 1 underwent subsequent PR. Nearly all [23/24 (96%)] with No PR (Ap≥0) demonstrated sustained resolution of pPOP and none underwent PR. Fourteen percent (4/29) of +PR underwent repeat PR within 5 years and 12% had recurrent pPOP. Regardless of PR, OD symptoms improved in all groups after ASC, although OD symptoms were still present in 17-19% at 5 years.
Symptomatic pPOP is common 5 years after ASC regardless of concomitant PR. OD symptoms may improve after ASC regardless of PR. Recurrent pPOP and/or reoperation was highest among those who received concomitant PR at ASC. Further studies identifying criteria for concomitant PR at the time of ASC are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4159620  PMID: 25181375
Obstructed defecation; Posterior prolapse; Sacrocolpopexy
3.  Respiratory Outcomes of the Surfactant Positive Pressure and Oximetry Randomized Trial 
The Journal of pediatrics  2014;165(2):240-249.e4.
To explore the early childhood pulmonary outcomes of infants who participated in the NICHD SUPPORT Trial, using a factorial design that randomized extremely preterm infants to lower vs. higher oxygen saturation targets and delivery room CPAP vs. intubation/surfactant, found no significant difference in the primary composite outcome of death or BPD.
Study design
The Breathing Outcomes Study, a prospective secondary to SUPPORT, assessed respiratory morbidity at 6 month intervals from hospital discharge to 18–22 months corrected age (CA). Two pre-specified primary outcomes, wheezing more than twice per week during the worst 2 week period and cough longer than 3 days without a cold were compared between each randomized intervention.
One or more interviews were completed for 918 of 922 eligible infants. The incidence of wheezing and cough were 47.9% and 31.0%, respectively, and did not differ between study arms of either randomized intervention. Infants randomized to lower vs. higher oxygen saturation targets had similar risks of death or respiratory morbidities (except for croup, treatment with oxygen or diuretics at home). Infants randomized to CPAP vs. intubation/surfactant had fewer episodes of wheezing without a cold (28.9% vs. 36.5%, p<0.05), respiratory illnesses diagnosed by a doctor (47.7% vs. 55.2%, p<0.05) and physician or emergency room visits for breathing problems (68.0% vs. 72.9%, p<0.05) by 18–22 months CA.
Treatment with early CPAP rather than intubation/surfactant is associated with less respiratory morbidity by 18–22 months CA. Longitudinal assessment of pulmonary morbidity is necessary to fully evaluate the potential benefits of respiratory interventions for neonates.
PMCID: PMC4111960  PMID: 24725582
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Low Birth Weight; Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight; Infant, Premature; Infant, Extremely Low Gestational Age; Infant mortality; Respiratory morbidity; Intensive care, neonatal; Hospital Readmission; Oximetry; Randomized controlled trial; Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP); Continuous Positive Airway Pressure; Intubation, endotracheal; Pulmonary surfactants/therapeutic use; Oxygen inhalation therapy/methods; Oxygen administration & dosage; Follow-up studies
4.  Sequential screening for psychosocial and behavioral risk during pregnancy in a population of urban African-Americans 
Screening for psychosocial and behavioral risks, such as depression, intimate partner violence and smoking, during pregnancy is considered state-of-the-art in prenatal care. This prospective longitudinal analysis examines the added benefit of repeated screening over a one-time screen in identifying such risks during pregnancy.
Data were collected as part of a randomized controlled trial to address intimate partner violence, depression, smoking and environmental tobacco smoke exposure in African-Americans women.
PNC sites in the District of Columbia serving mainly minority women
1044 African-American pregnant women in the District of Columbia
Mothers were classified by their initial response (acknowledgement of risks) and updated during pregnancy. Risks were considered new if they were not previously reported. Standard hypothesis tests and logistic regression were used to predict acknowledgment of any new risk(s) during pregnancy.
Main Outcome Measures
New risks; psychosocial variables to understand what factors might help identify acknowledgement of additional risk(s).
Repeated screening identified more mothers acknowledging risk over time. Reported smoking increased by 11%, environmental tobacco smoke exposure by 19%, intimate partner violence by 9%, and depression by 20%. The psychosocial variables collected at the baseline that were entered into the logistic regression model included relationship status, education, Medicaid, illicit drug use, and alcohol use during pregnancy. Among these, only education less than high school was associated in acknowledgement of new risk in the bivariate analyses and significantly predicted identification of new risks (OR=1.39, 95%CI, 1.01-1.90).
It is difficult early on to predict who will acknowledge new risks over the course of pregnancy, thus all women should be screened repeatedly to allow identification and intervention during prenatal care.
PMCID: PMC3775859  PMID: 23906260
pregnancy; African-American; psychosocial risk
5.  Evaluating Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening Guidelines for 24-27 Week Gestational Age Infants 
To determine if current retinopathy of prematurity screening guidelines1 adequately identify treatable ROP in a contemporary cohort of extremely low gestation infants.
Study Design
Data from the Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial were used. Inborn infants 24 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks gestational age with consent prior to delivery were enrolled in 2005-2009. Severe retinopathy of prematurity (Type 1 retinopathy of prematurity or treatment with laser, cryotherapy, or bevacizumab) or death was the primary outcome for the randomized trial. Examinations followed then current American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) screening recommendations, beginning by 31-33 weeks postmenstrual age.2,3
1316 infants were enrolled in the trial. 997 of the 1121 who survived to first eye exam had final retinopathy of prematurity outcome determined. 137 (14% of 997) met criteria for severe retinopathy of prematurity and 128 (93%) of those had sufficient data (without missing or delayed exams) to determine age of onset of severe retinopathy of prematurity. Postmenstrual age at onset was 32.1 to 53.1 wks. In this referral center cohort, 1.4% (14/997) developed severe retinopathy of prematurity after discharge.
Our contemporary data support the 2013 AAP screening guidelines for ROP for infants 24 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks gestational age.1 Some infants do not meet treatment criteria until after discharge home. Post-discharge follow-up of infants who are still at risk for severe ROP is crucial for timely detection and treatment.
PMCID: PMC3969774  PMID: 24503911
extremely premature infant
6.  Factorial comparison of two transvaginal surgical approaches and of perioperative behavioral therapy for women with apical vaginal prolapse: The OPTIMAL Randomized Trial 
Over 300,000 surgeries are performed annually in the United States for pelvic organ prolapse. Sacrospinous ligament fixation (SSLF) and uterosacral ligament suspension (ULS) are commonly performed transvaginal surgeries to correct apical prolapse. Little is known about their comparative efficacy and safety, and it is unknown whether perioperative behavioral therapy with pelvic floor muscle training (BPMT) improves outcomes of prolapse surgery.
To compare outcomes between 1) SSLF and ULS and 2) perioperative BPMT and usual perioperative care in women undergoing surgery for vaginal prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
Multi-center, 2×2 factorial randomized trial of 374 women undergoing surgery to treat both apical vaginal prolapse and stress urinary incontinence was conducted between 2008 and 2013 at 9 U.S. medical centers. Two-year follow-up rate was 84.5%.
Surgical intervention: Transvaginal surgery including mid-urethral sling with randomization to SSLF (n = 186) or ULS (n=188); Behavioral intervention: Randomization to perioperative BPMT (n = 186) or usual care (n=188).
The primary outcome for the surgical intervention (surgical success) was defined as: 1) no apical descent greater than one-third into vaginal canal or anterior or posterior vaginal wall beyond the hymen (anatomic success); 2) no bothersome vaginal bulge symptoms and 3) no retreatment for prolapse at 2 years. For the behavioral intervention, primary outcome at 6 months was urinary symptom scores (Urinary Distress Inventory; range 0–300, higher scores worse), and primary outcomes at 2 years were prolapse symptom scores (Pelvic Organ Prolapse Distress Inventory; range 0–300, higher scores worse) and anatomic success.
At 2 years, surgical group was not significantly associated with surgical success rates [ULS 59.2% (93/154) vs. SSLF 60.5% (92/152), OR 0.9 (95% CI 0.6, 1.5)] or serious adverse event rates [ULS 16.5% (31/188) vs. SSLF 16.7% (31/186), OR 0.9 (95% CI 0.5, 1.6)]. BPMT was not associated with greater improvements in urinary scores at 6 months [treatment difference −6.7 (95% CI −19.7, 6.2)], prolapse scores at 24 months [treatment difference −8.0 (95% CI −22.1, 6.1)] or anatomic success at 24 months.
Two years after vaginal surgery for prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, neither ULS nor SSLF was significantly superior to the other for anatomic, functional, and or adverse event outcomes. Perioperative BPMT did not improve urinary symptoms at 6 months or prolapse outcomes at 2 years.
PMCID: PMC4083455  PMID: 24618964
7.  Change in practice after the Surfactant, Positive Pressure and Oxygenation Randomised Trial 
To test the hypothesis that the proportion of endotracheal intubation (ETI) in the delivery room (DR) decreased in Neonatal Research Network (NRN) centres after the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NRN Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomised Trial (SUPPORT).
Retrospective cohort study using the prospective NRN generic database.
Eleven centres that participated in the SUPPORT trial and remained part of the NRN. Preterm neonates 240/7–276/7 weeks’ gestational age enrolled in the SUPPORT trial were randomised to: (1) DR continuous positive airway pressure or DR ETI with early surfactant administration; and (2) oxygen saturation targets of 85–89% or 91–95%. The prior NRN feasibility trial had assessed the feasibility of randomisation to continuous positive airway pressure versus ETI.
Infants 240/7–276/7 weeks’ gestational age, excluding infants with syndromes or major malformations and those on comfort care only.
Main outcome measure
Proportion of DR ETI.
The proportion of DR ETI decreased significantly in the group of infants from centres that had not participated in the feasibility trial (91% before vs 75% after SUPPORT, adjusted relative risk 0.86, 95% CI 0.83–0.89, p<0.0001) but not in the group of infants from the other centres, where the proportion of ETI was already lower prior to initiation of the SUPPORT trial (61% before vs 58% after SUPPORT, adjusted relative risk 0.96, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.05, p=0.40).
This study shows that DR ETI changed after SUPPORT only in NRN centres that had not participated in a similar trial.
PMCID: PMC4134421  PMID: 24876196
8.  Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in the Early CPAP and Pulse Oximetry Trial 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(26):2495-2504.
Previous results from our trial of early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) versus early surfactant treatment in infants showed no significant difference in the outcome of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. A lower (vs. higher) target range of oxygen saturation was associated with a lower rate of severe retinopathy but higher mortality. We now report longer-term results from our prespecified hypotheses.
Using a 2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned infants born between 24 weeks 0 days and 27 weeks 6 days of gestation to early CPAP with a limited ventilation strategy or early surfactant administration and to lower or higher target ranges of oxygen saturation (85 to 89% or 91 to 95%). The primary composite outcome for the longer-term analysis was death before assessment at 18 to 22 months or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months of corrected age.
The primary outcome was determined for 1234 of 1316 enrolled infants (93.8%); 990 of the 1058 surviving infants (93.6%) were evaluated at 18 to 22 months of corrected age. Death or neurodevelopmental impairment occurred in 27.9% of the infants in the CPAP group (173 of 621 infants), versus 29.9% of those in the surfactant group (183 of 613) (relative risk, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 to 1.10; P = 0.38), and in 30.2% of the infants in the lower-oxygen-saturation group (185 of 612), versus 27.5% of those in the higher-oxygen-saturation group (171 of 622) (relative risk, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.32; P = 0.21). Mortality was increased with the lower-oxygen-saturation target (22.1%, vs. 18.2% with the higher-oxygen-saturation target; relative risk, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.55; P = 0.046).
We found no significant differences in the composite outcome of death or neurodevelopmental impairment among extremely premature infants randomly assigned to early CPAP or early surfactant administration and to a lower or higher target range of oxygen saturation. (Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; SUPPORT number, NCT00233324.)
PMCID: PMC4140695  PMID: 23268664
9.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of Trans-Dermal Nicotine Replacement in Pregnant African-American Smokers 
Maternal and child health journal  2013;17(5):897-906.
We compared acceptability, adherence and efficacy of trans-dermal nicotine patches and cognitive behavioral therapy (Group 1) to cognitive behavioral therapy alone (Group 2) in minority pregnant smokers. This is a randomized controlled trial. 52 women were recruited during pregnancy with a mean gestational age 18.5 ± 5.0 weeks and followed through delivery. Randomization was by site and initial cotinine levels. Interventionists and interviewers were blinded to group assignment. Two different nicotine replacement therapy dosing regiments were administered according to the baseline salivary cotinine level. A process evaluation model summarized patient adherence. The main outcome measure was self-report of cessation since last visit, confirmed by exhaled carbon monoxide. Analyses of categorical and continuous measures were conducted as well as linear trend tests of salivary cotinine levels. Women lost to follow-up were considered treatment failures. Participants were on average 27.5 ± 5.4 years old, 81 % were single, 69 % unemployed and 96 % were Medicaid eligible. A process evaluation indicated patients in both groups were adherent to scheduled program procedures through Visit 4, but not for Visits 5 and 6. Confirmed quit rates were: at visit 3, 23 (Group 1) and 0 % (Group 2) (p = 0.02); at visits 4 and 5, no difference; at visit 6, 19 (Group 1) and 0 % (Group 2) (p = 0.05). Group 1 delivered infants with a mean gestational age of 39.4 weeks versus 38.4 weeks in Group 2 (p = 0.02). 73 % (52/71) of the eligible smokers agreed to participate and 65 % (17/26) of Group 1 completed the protocol (i.e. attended 6 visits). A comparison of Group 1 and 2 quit rates confirmed a non-significant difference.
PMCID: PMC3679235  PMID: 22761006
Pregnancy; African-Americans; Smoking; Nicotine replacement therapy
10.  Emperic Antifungal Therapy and Outcomes in Extremely-Low-Birth-Weight Infants with Invasive Candidiasis 
The Journal of Pediatrics  2012;161(2):264-269.e2.
To assess the impact of emperic antifungal therapy of invasive candidiasis on subsequent outcomes in premature infants.
Study design
This was a cohort study of infants ≤1000 g birth weight cared for at Neonatal Research Network sites. All infants had at least 1 positive culture for Candida. Emperic antifungal therapy was defined as receipt of a systemic antifungal on the day of or the day before the first positive culture for Candida was drawn. We created Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models stratified on propensity score quartiles to determine the effect of emperic antifungal therapy on survival, time to clearance of infection, retinopathy of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, end-organ damage, and neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI).
136 infants developed invasive candidiasis. The incidence of death or NDI was lower for infants who received emperic antifungal therapy (19/38, 50%) compared with those who had not (55/86, 64%; odds ratio=0.27 [95% confidence interval 0.08–0.86]). There was no significant difference between the groups for any single outcome or other combined outcomes.
Emperic antifungal therapy was associated with increased survival without NDI. A prospective randomized trial of this strategy is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3380169  PMID: 22424952
Candida; neonate; mortality; neurodevelopmental impairment
11.  An Integrated Randomized Intervention to Reduce Behavioral and Psychosocial Risks: Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes 
Maternal and Child Health Journal  2012;16(3):545-554.
While biomedical risks contribute to poor pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in African American (AA) populations, behavioral and psychosocial risks (BPSR) may also play a part. Among low income AA women with psychosocial risks, this report addresses the impacts on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes of an integrated education and counseling intervention to reduce BPSR, as well as the contributions of other psychosocial and biomedical risks.
Subjects were low income AA women ≥18 years living in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and seeking prenatal care. Subjects (n=1044) were screened for active smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETSE), depression, or intimate partner violence (IPV) and then randomized to intervention (IG) or usual care (UCG) groups. Data were collected prenatally, at delivery, and postpartum by maternal report and medical record abstraction. Multiple imputation methodology was used to estimate missing variables. Rates of pregnancy outcomes (miscarriage, live birth, perinatal death), preterm labor, Caesarean section, sexually transmitted infection (STI) during pregnancy, preterm birth (<37 weeks), low birth weight (<2,500 grams), very low birth weight (<1,500 grams), small for gestational age, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, and >2 days of hospitalization were compared between IG and UCG. Logistic regression models were created to predict outcomes based on biomedical risk factors and the four psychosocial risks (smoking, ETSE, depression, and IPV) targeted by the intervention.
Rates of adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were high and did not differ significantly between IG and UCG. In adjusted analysis, STI during the current pregnancy was associated with IPV (OR=1.41, 95% CI 1.04-1.91). Outcomes such as preterm labor/caesarian section in pregnancy and preterm birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age, NICU admissions and >2 day hospitalization of the infants were associated with biomedical risk factors including preexisting hypertension and diabetes, previous preterm birth (PTB), and late initiation of prenatal care, but they were not significantly associated with active smoking, ETSE, depression, or IPV.
Neither the intervention to reduce BPSR nor the psychosocial factors significantly contributed to the pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. This study confirms that biomedical factors significantly contribute to adverse outcomes in low income AA women. Biomedical factors outweighed psychosocial factors in contributing to adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in this high-risk population. Early identification and management of hypertension, diabetes and previous PTB in low income AA women may reduce health disparities in birth outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3288486  PMID: 21931956
12.  Enrollment of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants in a Clinical Research Study May Not Be Representative 
Pediatrics  2012;129(3):480-484.
The Surfactant Positive Airway Pressure and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial (SUPPORT) antenatal consent study demonstrated that mothers of infants enrolled in the SUPPORT trial had significantly different demographics and exposure to antenatal steroids compared with mothers of eligible, but not enrolled infants. The objective of this analysis was to compare the outcomes of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, severe retinopathy of prematurity, severe intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia (IVH/PVL), death, and death/severe IVH/PVL for infants enrolled in SUPPORT in comparison with eligible, but not enrolled infants.
Perinatal characteristics and neonatal outcomes were compared for enrolled and eligible but not enrolled infants in bivariate analyses. Models were created to test the effect of enrollment in SUPPORT on outcomes, controlling for perinatal characteristics.
There were 1316 infants enrolled in SUPPORT; 3053 infants were eligible, but not enrolled. In unadjusted analyses, enrolled infants had significantly lower rates of death before discharge, severe IVH/PVL, death/severe IVH/PVL (all < 0.001), and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (P = .003) in comparison with eligible, but not enrolled infants. The rate of severe retinopathy of prematurity was not significantly different. After adjustment for perinatal factors, enrollment in the trial was not a significant predictor of any of the tested clinical outcomes.
The results of this analysis demonstrate significant outcome differences between enrolled and eligible but not enrolled infants in a trial using antenatal consent, which were likely due to enrollment bias resulting from the antenatal consent process. Additional research and regulatory review need to be conducted to ensure that large moderate-risk trials that require antenatal consent can be conducted in such a way as to ensure the generalizability of results.
PMCID: PMC3289530  PMID: 22371462
antenatal steroids; clinical research/trials; informed consent; neonatal
13.  Outcomes Following Candiduria in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with candiduria are at substantial risk for death or neurodevelopmental impairment. Therefore, identification of candiduria should prompt a systemic evaluation for disseminated Candida infection and initiation of treatment in all ELBW infants.
Background. Candidiasis carries a significant risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW; <1000 g). We sought to determine the impact of candiduria in ELBW preterm infants.
Methods. Our study was a secondary analysis of the Neonatal Research Network study Early Diagnosis of Nosocomial Candidiasis. Follow-up assessments included Bayley Scales of Infant Development examinations at 18–22 months of corrected age. Risk factors were compared between groups using exact tests and general linear modeling. Death, NDI, and death or NDI were compared using generalized linear mixed modeling.
Results. Of 1515 infants enrolled, 34 (2.2%) had candiduria only. Candida was isolated from blood only (69 of 1515 [4.6%]), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) only (2 of 1515 [0.1%]), other sterile site only (not urine, blood, or CSF; 4 of 1515 [0.3%]), or multiple sources (28 of 1515 [2%]). Eleven infants had the same Candida species isolated in blood and urine within 3 days; 3 (27%) had a positive urine culture result first. Most urine isolates were Candida albicans (21 of 34 [62%]) or Candida parapsilosis (7 of 34 [29%]). Rate of death or NDI was greater among those with candiduria (50%) than among those with suspected but not proven infection (32%; odds ratio, 2.5 [95% confidence interval, 1.2–5.3]) after adjustment. No difference in death and death or NDI was noted between infants with candiduria and those with candidemia.
Conclusions. These findings provide compelling evidence that ELBW infants with candiduria are at substantial risk of death or NDI. Candiduria in ELBW preterm infants should prompt a systemic evaluation (blood, CSF, and abdominal ultrasound) for disseminated Candida infection and warrants treatment.
PMCID: PMC3258271  PMID: 22144537
14.  Understanding the Association of Biomedical, Psychosocial and Behavioral Risks with Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes 
Maternal and child health journal  2011;15(Suppl 1):85-95.
This study investigates the relationship between diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, and Body Mass Index (BMI) -- the most common and interrelated medical conditions occurring during pregnancy; sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors; and adverse pregnancy outcomes in high-risk urban African American women in Washington, DC.
Data are from a randomized controlled trial conducted in 6 prenatal clinics. Women in their 1st or 2nd trimester were screened for behavioral risks (smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, depression, and intimate partner violence) and demographic eligibility. 1,044 were eligible, interviewed and followed through their pregnancies. Classification and Regression Trees (CART) methodology was used to: 1) explore the relationship between medical and behavioral risks (reported at enrollment), sociodemographic factors and pregnancy outcomes, 2) identify the relative importance of various predictors of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and 3) characterize women at the highest risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.
Overall, the strongest predictors of poor outcomes were prepregnancy BMI, preconceptional diabetes, employment status, intimate partner violence, and depression. In CART analysis, preeclampsia was the first splitter for low birthweight; preconceptional diabetes was the first splitter for preterm birth (PTB) and neonatal intensive care admission; BMI was the first splitter for very PTB, large for gestational age, Cesarean section and perinatal death; and employment was the first splitter for miscarriage.
Preconceptional factors play a very important role in pregnancy outcomes. For many of these women, the risks that they bring into the pregnancy were more likely to impact their pregnancy outcome than events during pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3220795  PMID: 21785892
15.  Prediction of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia by Postnatal Age in Extremely Premature Infants 
Rationale: Benefits of identifying risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants include providing prognostic information, identifying infants likely to benefit from preventive strategies, and stratifying infants for clinical trial enrollment.
Objectives: To identify risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the competing outcome of death, by postnatal day; to identify which risk factors improve prediction; and to develop a Web-based estimator using readily available clinical information to predict risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death.
Methods: We assessed infants of 23–30 weeks' gestation born in 17 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and enrolled in the Neonatal Research Network Benchmarking Trial from 2000–2004.
Measurements and Main Results: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined as a categorical variable (none, mild, moderate, or severe). We developed and validated models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia risk at six postnatal ages using gestational age, birth weight, race and ethnicity, sex, respiratory support, and FiO2, and examined the models using a C statistic (area under the curve). A total of 3,636 infants were eligible for this study. Prediction improved with advancing postnatal age, increasing from a C statistic of 0.793 on Day 1 to a maximum of 0.854 on Day 28. On Postnatal Days 1 and 3, gestational age best improved outcome prediction; on Postnatal Days 7, 14, 21, and 28, type of respiratory support did so. A Web-based model providing predicted estimates for bronchopulmonary dysplasia by postnatal day is available at
Conclusions: The probability of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants can be determined accurately using a limited amount of readily available clinical information.
PMCID: PMC3136997  PMID: 21471086
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; low-birth-weight infant
16.  Very Preterm Birth is Reduced in Women Receiving an Integrated Behavioral Intervention: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
This study examines whether an integrated behavioral intervention with proven efficacy in reducing psycho-behavioral risks (smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETSE), depression, and intimate partner violence (IPV)) in African-Americans is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes
A randomized controlled trial targeting risks during pregnancy was conducted in the District of Columbia. African-American women were recruited if reporting at least one of the risks mentioned above. Randomization to intervention or usual care was site and risk specific. Sociodemographic, health risk and pregnancy outcome data were collected. Data on 819 women, and their singleton live born infants were analyzed using an intent-to-treat approach. Bivariate analyses preceded a reduced logistical model approach to elucidate the effect of the intervention on the reduction of prematurity and low birth weight.
The incidence of low birthweight LBW was 12% and very low birthweight VLBW was 1.6%. Multivariate logistic regression results showed that depression was associated with LBW (OR=1.71, 95%CI=1.12–2.62). IPV was associated with PTB and VPTB (OR 1.64, 95%CI=1.07–2.51, OR=2.94, 95%CI=1.40–6.16, respectively). The occurrence of VPTB was significantly reduced in the intervention compared to the usual care group (OR=0.42, 95%CI=0.19–0.93).
Our study confirms the significant associations between multiple psycho-behavioral risks and poor pregnancy outcomes, including LBW and PTB. Our behavioral intervention with demonstrated efficacy in addressing multiple risk factors simultaneously reduced VPTB within an urban minority population.
PMCID: PMC2988881  PMID: 20082130
African-American; birth weight; pregnancy; gestational age
17.  Neonatal Candidiasis: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Clinical Judgment 
Pediatrics  2010;126(4):e865-e873.
Invasive candidiasis is a leading cause of infection-related morbidity and mortality in extremely low-birth-weight (<1000 g) infants. We quantify risk factors predicting infection in high-risk premature infants and compare clinical judgment with a prediction model of invasive candidiasis.
The study involved a prospective observational cohort of infants <1000 g birth weight at 19 centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network. At each sepsis evaluation, clinical information was recorded, cultures obtained, and clinicians prospectively recorded their estimate of the probability of invasive candidiasis. Two models were generated with invasive candidiasis as their outcome: 1) potentially modifiable risk factors and 2) a clinical model at time of blood culture to predict candidiasis.
Invasive candidiasis occurred in 137/1515 (9.0%) infants and was documented by positive culture from ≥ 1 of these sources: blood (n=96), cerebrospinal fluid (n=9), urine obtained by catheterization (n=52), or other sterile body fluid (n=10). Mortality was not different from infants who had positive blood culture compared to those with isolated positive urine culture. Incidence varied from 2–28% at the 13 centers enrolling ≥ 50 infants. Potentially modifiable risk factors (model 1) included central catheter, broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g., third-generation cephalosporins), intravenous lipid emulsion, endotracheal tube, and antenatal antibiotics. The clinical prediction model (model 2) had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.79, and was superior to clinician judgment (0.70) in predicting subsequent invasive candidiasis. Performance of clinical judgment did not vary significantly with level of training.
Prior antibiotics, presence of a central catheter, endotracheal tube, and center were strongly associated with invasive candidiasis. Modeling was more accurate in predicting invasive candidiasis than clinical judgment.
PMCID: PMC3045840  PMID: 20876174
Candidiasis; premature infant; risk factors
18.  An Intervention to Reduce Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure Improves Pregnancy Outcomes 
Pediatrics  2010;125(4):721-728.
We tested the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral intervention in reducing environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETSE) and improving pregnancy outcomes among African-American women.
We recruited 1,044 women to a randomized controlled trial during 2001-2004 in Washington, DC. Data on 691 women with self-reported ETSE were analyzed. A subset of 520 ETSE women and salivary cotinine levels (SCLs) <20 ng/ml was also analyzed. Individually tailored counseling sessions adapted from evidence-based interventions for ETSE and other risks, were delivered to the intervention group. The usual care group received routine prenatal care as determined by their provider. Logistic regression models were used to predict ETSE before delivery and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Women in the intervention were less likely to self-report ETSE before delivery when controlling for other covariates (OR=0.50, 95%CI=0.35-0.71). Medicaid recipients were more likely to have ETSE (OR=1.97, 95%CI=1.31-2.96). With advancing maternal age, the likelihood of ETSE was less (OR=0.96, 95%CI=0.93-0.99). For women in the intervention the rates of very low birth weight (VLBW) and very preterm birth (VPTB) were significantly improved (OR=0.11, 95%CI=0.01-0.86; OR=0.22, 95%CI=0.07-0.68, respectively). For women with SCL <20 ng/ml, maternal age was not significant. Intimate partner violence at baseline significantly increased the chances of VLBW and VPTB (OR=3.75, 95%CI=1.02-13.81; OR=2.71, 95%CI=1.11-6.62, respectively). These results were true for mothers who reported ETSE overall and for those with SCL <20 ng/ml.
This is the first randomized clinical trial demonstrating efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral intervention targeting ETSE in pregnancy. We significantly reduced ETSE as well as VPTB and VLBW, leading causes of neonatal mortality and morbidity in minority populations. This intervention may reduce health disparities seen in reproductive outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2923806  PMID: 20211945
behavioral intervention; environmental tobacco smoke; pregnant women; African-American; birth weight; preterm birth
19.  Antenatal Consent in the SUPPORT Trial: Challenges, Costs, and Representative Enrollment 
Pediatrics  2010;126(1):e215-e221.
The purposes of this study were to quantify the time and effort involved in obtaining prenatal consent for the Neonatal Research Network Surfactant Positive Airway Pressure and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial (SUPPORT) and to determine whether the enrolled infants were representative of the eligible population.
Eligible subjects were likely to deliver in the SUPPORT gestational age window (24–27 6/7; weeks). Data included who approached the subjects for consent, how often they approached, the duration of each contact, whether consent was obtained, and whether subjects were enrolled in the trial. Eligible, nonenrolled infants entered into the Neonatal Research Network Generic Database throughout the period of SUPPORT enrollment were compared with enrolled infants.
A total of 2826 women were identified at 18 sites, 2228 were approached for consent, and 1219 (54.7%) agreed. For 76.9% of those approached, <3 visits (mean: 2.0 ± 1.2 visits) were required to complete the consent process. Of the 659 infants with consent who were delivered within the study window, 611 were enrolled. Mothers who received a neonatal consultation were more likely to give consent (P < .001). The proportion of infants not exposed to steroids was significantly greater in the nonapproached group than in the approached group (20.0% vs 3.4%; P < .0001).
In a trial that involved preterm infants and required prenatal consent, >5 women were identified as being likely to deliver in the SUPPORT gestational age window for each 1 who delivered an enrolled infant.
PMCID: PMC3057215  PMID: 20587676
informed consent; prenatal; neonatal
Obstetrics and gynecology  2010;115(2 Pt 1):273-283.
We estimated the efficacy of a psycho-behavioral intervention in reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) recurrence during pregnancy and postpartum, and in improving birth outcomes in African-American women
We conducted a randomized controlled trial in which 1,044 women were recruited. Individually-tailored counseling sessions were adapted from evidence-based interventions for IPV and other risks. Logistic regression was used to model IPV victimization recurrence, to predict minor, severe, physical and sexual IPV.
Women randomized to the intervention were less likely to have recurrent episodes of IPV victimization (OR=0.48, 95%CI=0.29-0.80). Women with minor IPV were significantly less likely to experience further episodes during pregnancy (OR=0.48, 95%CI=0.26-0.86, OR=0.53, 95%CI=0.28-0.99) and postpartum (OR=0.56, 95%CI=0.34-0.93). Numbers needed to treat were 17, 12, and 22, respectively as compared to the usual care Women with severe IPV showed significantly reduced episodes at postpartum (OR=0.39, 95%CI=0.18-0.82) and number needed to treat is 27. Women who experienced physical IPV showed significant reduction at the first follow-up (OR=0.49, 95%CI=0.27-0.91) and postpartum (OR=0.47, 95%CI=0.27-0.82) and number needed to treat is 18 and 20, respectively. Intervention women had significantly fewer very preterm infants (p=0.03) and an increased mean gestational age (p=0.016).
A relatively brief intervention during pregnancy had discernable effects on IPV and pregnancy outcomes. Screening for IPV as well as other psychosocial and behavioral risks and incorporating similar interventions in prenatal care is strongly recommended.
PMCID: PMC2917915  PMID: 20093899
21.  Prediction of Birth Weight By Cotinine Levels During Pregnancy in a Population of African American Smokers 
Pediatrics  2009;124(4):e671-e680.
The goal was to investigate the association between maternal salivary cotinine levels (SCLs) and pregnancy outcome among African Americans smokers
In a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2001-2004 in Washington, D.C. 714 women (126 active smokers (18%)) were tested for SCLs at the time of recruitment and later in pregnancy. Sociodemographic health risks and pregnancy outcomes were recorded.
Birth weights were significantly lower for infants born to mothers with baseline SCLs of ≥20 ng/ml compared to <20 ng/ml (p=0.024), ≥50 ng/ml compared to <50 ng/ml (p=0.002), ≥100 ng/ml compared to <100 ng/ml (p=0.002), in bivariate analyses. In linear regression analyses adjusting for sociodemographic and medical factors, SCLs of ≥20 ng/ml were associated with a reduction in birth weight of 88 grams when SCLs were measured at baseline (p=0.042) and 205 grams when SCLs were measured immediately before delivery (p<0.001). Corresponding results were 129 grams (p=0.006) and 202 grams (p<0.001) for ≥50 ng/ml and 139 grams (p=0.007) and 205 grams (p<0.001) for ≥100 ng/ml. Gestational age was not affected significantly at any SCL, regardless of when SCLs were measured.
Elevated SCLs early in pregnancy or before delivery were associated with reductions in birth weight. At any cutoff level, birth weight reduction was more significant for the same SCL measured late in pregnancy. Maintaining lower levels of smoking for women who are unable to quit may be beneficial.
PMCID: PMC2922025  PMID: 19786427
22.  An Integrated Intervention in Pregnant African Americans Reduces Postpartum Risk: A Randomized Trial 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2008;112(3):611-620.
To evaluate the efficacy of an integrated multiple risk intervention delivered mainly during pregnancy, in reducing such risks (smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, depression and intimate partner violence) postpartum.
Data from this randomized controlled trial were collected prenatally and on average 10 weeks postpartum in six prenatal care sites in the District of Columbia. African Americans were screened, recruited and randomly assigned to the behavioral intervention or usual care. Clinic-based, individually tailored counseling was delivered to intervention women. The outcome measures were number of reisks reported postpartum and reduction of these risks between baseline and postpartum.
The intervention was effective in significantly reducing the number of risks reported in the postpartum period. In Bivariate analyses, the intervention group was more successful in resolving all risks (47% compared with 35%, p=0.007), number needed to treat=9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 5-31) and in resolving some risks (63% compared with 54%, p=0.009), number needed to treat=11, 95% CI 7-43) as compared with the usual care group. In logistical regression analyses, women in the intervention group were more likely to resolve all risks (OR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.25-2.75) and in resolving at least one risk (OR=1.6, 95% CI: 1.15-2.22).
An integrated multiple risk factor intervention addressing psychosocial and behavioral risks delivered mainly during pregnancy can have beneficial effects in risk reduction postpartum.
PMCID: PMC2935657  PMID: 18757660
23.  Environmental Tobacco Smoke Avoidance Among Pregnant African-American Nonsmokers 
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure during pregnancy contributes to adverse infant health outcomes. Limited previous research has focused on identifying correlates of ETS avoidance. This study sought to identify proximal and more distal correlates of ETS avoidance early in pregnancy among African-American women.
From a sample of low-income, black women (n=1044) recruited in six urban, prenatal care clinics (July 2001–October 2003), cotinine-confirmed nonsmokers with partners, household/family members, or friends who smoked (n=450) were identified and divided into two groups: any past-7-day ETS exposure and cotinine-confirmed ETS avoidance. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses identified factors associated with ETS avoidance. Data were initially analyzed in 2004. Final models were reviewed and revised in 2007 and 2008.
Twenty-seven percent of pregnant nonsmokers were confirmed as ETS avoiders. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the odds of ETS avoidance were increased among women who reported household smoking bans (OR=2.96; 95% CI=1.83, 4.77; p<0.0001), that the father wanted the baby (OR=2.70; CI=1.26, 5.76; p=0.01), and that no/few family members/friends smoked (OR=3.15; 95% CI=1.58, 6.29; p<0.001). The odds were decreased among women who had a current partner (OR= 0.42; 95% CI=0.23, 0.76; p<0.01), reported any intimate partner violence during pregnancy (OR= 0.43; 95% CI=0.19, 0.95; p<0.05), and reported little social support to prevent ETS exposure (OR= 0.50; 95% CI=0.30, 0.85; p=0.01). Parity, emotional coping strategies, substance use during pregnancy, partner/household member smoking status, and self-confidence in avoiding ETS were significant in bivariate, but not multivariate analyses.
Social contextual factors were the strongest determinants of ETS avoidance during pregnancy. Results highlight the importance of prenatal screening to identify pregnant nonsmokers at risk, encouraging household smoking bans, gaining support from significant others, and fully understanding the interpersonal context of a woman’s pregnancy before providing behavioral counseling and advice to prevent ETS exposure.
PMCID: PMC2711691  PMID: 19215848

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