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Insights into genetic susceptibility in the etiology of spontaneous preterm birth

Authors Parets S, Knight A, Smith A

Received 10 September 2015

Accepted for publication 12 November 2015

Published 14 December 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 283—290


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Martin H. Maurer

Sasha E Parets,1 Anna K Knight,2 Alicia K Smith,1,2

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Genetics and Molecular Biology Program, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract: Preterm birth (PTB; <37 weeks of gestation) is a complex disorder, whose etiology is influenced by a variety of factors. A greater understanding of the biological mechanisms that contribute to PTB will facilitate identification of those at increased risk and may inform new treatments. To accomplish this, it is vital to elucidate the heritability patterns of this condition as well as the environment and lifestyle factors that increase risk for PTB. Identifying individual genes that contribute to the etiology of PTB presents particular challenges, and there has been little agreement among candidate gene and genome-wide studies performed to date. In this review we will evaluate recent genetic studies of spontaneous PTB, discuss common themes among their findings, and suggest approaches for future studies of PTB.

Keywords: PTB, GWAS, linkage, candidate gene, African–American, epigenetic

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