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Bringing stillbirth out of the shadows for all women having a baby in Australia

Vicki J Flenady and David A Ellwood
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (5): 256-257. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11139

Can Australia rise to the challenge of reducing the rate of avoidable stillbirths?

The large, well conducted study by Drysdale and colleagues published in this issue of the Journal shows a 2.4-fold increase in the odds of late-gestation stillbirth for women giving birth in Australia who were born in South Asia, compared with women born in Australia.1 The relative risk was most pronounced at 41 weeks’ gestation, when there was a concerning fivefold increase. These findings concur with international studies and require careful consideration.

  • Vicki J Flenady1,2
  • David A Ellwood3,2

  • 1 Centre for Translating Research into Practice, Mater Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Australian and New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.


Competing interests:

Vicki Flenady is a member of the Board of the Australian and New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance (ANZSA) and President of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand. David Ellwood is a member of the Board of the ANZSA and the current President (Chair) of the International Stillbirth Alliance.

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