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In Depth: Duke Researchers Work to Lower High NC Premature Birth Rates

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
By Caroline Blair, Spectrum News

Dr. Amy Murtha's mission is to end preterm birth.  Her involvement with the Prematurity Research Center and The Triangle March of Dimes, for which she has chaired the annual walk for the last two years, has focused been working hard to raise awareness about preterm birth and the need for a better understanding of its causes thorough research.

We are excited that Dr. Murtha was featured on Spectrum News channel's In Depth series in an interview about preterm birth.  This news segment is an opportunity to bring attention this important issue.

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DURHAM-- Having a child born premature or a preterm birth can lead to a number of temporary or lifetime problems for the child.  And according to the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, North Carolina was ranked 44th in the nation with a 10.2 percent premature birth rate, giving our state a "C" grade.  So many people are now asking, are we doing enough to reduce those numbers?

Dr. Amy Murtha and her colleagues at Duke University are part of the research group and are working to reduce the number of preterm births.  Her research is focused on the fetal membrane and what causes them to weaken and rupture. Dr. Murtha focuses on female health issues, specifically premature delivery, particularly when a woman’s water bag breaks early in pregnancy.  

Her goal is to better understand why this happens and to find ways to identify women who are at high risk for having their water bag break, and to help prevent that from happening.  She hopes to discover key targets for therapy in patients at high risk for preterm birth.

More information about the Prematurity Research Center is available, click on this link

Watch the Video