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Pre-term birth study recruits 1000th baby

Study of babies born between 32-36 weeks pregnancy is one of the few of its kind in the world

Issued on 28 June 2010

A research study spearheaded by the University of Leicester in partnership with the NHS investigating premature births occurring between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy is has crossed the 1000 baby threshold.

Now in its tenth month of recruitment, the researchers are keen to maintain as well as increase recruitment to the study.

The Late And Moderate preterm Birth Study, or LAMBS, is a project funded by the National Institute for Health Research (part of the NHS). The study, in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, will shed new light on the reasons for premature births amongst this particular group who have been the subject of little research around the world.

“We have had a fantastic response from mums all over the East Midlands since the LAMBS study started. The study has recruited over 1000 babies so far and we are delighted with this.” said Dr Elaine Boyle, Consultant Neonatologist and Senior Lecturer in Neonatal Medicine at the University of Leicester and who is leading the study.

Parents of babies already recruited to the study are now being sent the first of the follow-up questionnaires about their baby’s health, together with a LAMBS newsletter to update them on the study’s progress. “The questionnaires we send out are an extremely important part of the study” says Dr Boyle. “We hope that all parents will complete them to let us know how their babies are doing.”

Women having babies this year may be invited to take part in the study, which is the first of its kind. “We know very little about why some babies are born just a few weeks early and what happens to them as they grow up. These babies have been largely ignored until recently because researchers have concentrated on extremely premature babies who are the very tiniest babies, born before 32 weeks.” says Dr Boyle. Dr Boyle added: “We want to understand why these babies are born early and learn more about preventing premature birth. LAMBS will also help us find out whether these babies are more likely to have special difficulties compared to babies that are born at the usual time.

The LAMBS study started in and around Leicester and Nottingham in September 2009 and will run until the end of 2010. Organisations involved in the study include University Hospitals of Leicester and Nottingham University Hospitals.

For further information about the LAMBS study, please visit: www.le.ac.uk/timms and click on the LAMBS icon under “TIMMS Quick Links” to the right of the web page.

NOTES TO NEWSDESK:

For interviews contact Dr Elaine Boyle via University of Leicester press office: 0116 252 2415 email pt91@le.ac.uk

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