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Definition of Postdatism Shifts in Minn.

SAN DIEGO -- The rate of labor induction in Olmstead County Minn., has doubled over a 16-year period, Dr. Barbara Yawn reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group.

The rate of labor induction in term pregnancies increased from 12.7% in 1980 to 27% in 1995, largely because physicians are using different definitions for postdatism, said Dr. Yawn, director of research for Olmstead Medical Center, Rochester, Minn.

"What physicians are calling postdatism has changed," she said in an interview. "Postdatism now is being defined as any woman over 40 weeks' gestation, not women after 42 weeks' gestation, as the medical literature would suggest."

Dr. Yawn and her associates conducted a retrospective study of all medically induced labors and deliveries of greater than or equal to 36 weeks' gestation to 785 Olmstead County women between January 1, 1980 and January 1, 1996.

The average length of postdatism pregnancies dropped from 41.9 weeks in 1980 to 40.2 weeks in 1995. Yet the birth weight of infants who were induced because they were large for gestational age was not different between 1980 and 1995 (3,987 g and 4,012 g, respectively).

Ferning was the standard for diagnosis of premature rupture of membranes in both 1980 and 1995. Although intravenous Pitocin continued to be the most common method of induction, prostaglandin gel and pills were common by 1995, noted Dr. Yawn, who also is a senior investigator at the rural health research center at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

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Comment:Definition of Postdatism Shifts in Minn.
Author:Brunk, Doug
Publication:Family Practice News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 15, 2000
Words:257
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