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Epidemiological Studies on Fetal Loss – Better Data and Research Methods are Needed

Authors Olsen J, Liew Z

Received 31 March 2020

Accepted for publication 20 July 2020

Published 13 August 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 883—887

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S256297

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eyal Cohen


Jørn Olsen,1 Zeyan Liew2

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N 8200, Denmark; 2Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

Correspondence: Zeyan Liew
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
Tel +1 203-764-9727
Email zeyan.liew@yale.edu

Abstract: In perinatal epidemiology, fetal deaths occur over the first timeline, from conception to birth or fetal death. Majority of other epidemiological research on human diseases focus on the second timeline, from birth to death. The transition from the first to the second timeline is not a fixed duration of time and it depends on when birth occurs. We discussed the complications when switching from the first to the second timeline in epidemiological studies of early life exposures, pregnancy events, and future health outcomes. Population-based studies often lack accurate data on the date of conception for most pregnancies and the complete count of fetal death, leading to chances for selection and misclassification biases. To address these problems, better research data and methodological advancement in study designs and biases evaluations are needed.

Keywords: fetal loss, miscarriage, bias, birth cohort, epidemiology

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