Greetings from the Prolacta Team
LATCH… "to acquire understanding of, to comprehend"
Prolacta Bioscience's eNewsletter serves to extend our mission of "making a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable infants through world class research and innovative products"
by providing the health care professional with a brief overview of evolving research, current clinical issues and emerging strategies relevant to the care of the premature infant and sick newborn.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month®
Every year more than half a million babies - that's 1 in every 8 - are born premature (Click here to view YouTube video
). In a review article "Epidemiology: The Changing Face of Preterm Birth" (Cinics in Perinatology 38(2011) 339-350
) (Click here to read article
) Klebanoff & Keim note that one-third of all infant mortality in the United States is attributable directly to preterm birth or as a result of complications occurring almost exclusively to the preterm infant. Compared with infants born at term, surviving preterm infants are at an increased risk of long-term cognitive, motor, sensory and behavioral deficits, as well as poor growth and long-term lung and gastrointestinal disease. The Institute of Medicine has estimated the cost to society of preterm birth in the United States to be at least $26.2 billion in 2005. This cost does not include the entire cost of medical care beyond early childhood, nor does it include the total cost of special educational services. It does not include any lost productivity or caregiver costs.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month®
and when the March of Dimes focuses the nation's attention on premature birth. The awareness month kicks off on November 1 with the release of the 2011 Premature Birth Report Card. November 17 marks World Prematurity Day, and the March of Dimes and its partner organizations worldwide are asking everyone to help spread the world on the serious problem of premature birth. We at Prolacta Bioscience are committed to "making a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable infants."
We are proud to be partnered with the March of Dimes in this endeavor and encourage you to visit their website (http://www.marchofdimes.com/mission/prematurity.html ) to see how you can become involved at every level - individual, societal, political, corporate, and institutional - in the "Fight for Preemies".
Outcomes of Preterm Infants: Morbidity Replaces Mortality
In the September issue of Clinics in Perinatology, authors Marilee Allen, Elizabeth Cristofalo, and Christina Kim from Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Kennedy Krieger Institute (Click here to read article
) note that while we are witnessing a decreasing rate of preterm births in the US, there remains a substantial issue of morbidity in the preterm infant. The article reviews preterm infant outcomes, identifies the multiple factors that influence neuro-maturation and describes the range of neuro-motor, sensory, cognitive, behavior and social-emotional morbidities seen in this vulnerable population.
A review article of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) by Josef Neu from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida and W. Alan Walker from the Department of Pediatrics, Massachusettes General Hospital for Children, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January of this year (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/
) further describes the process whereby the excessive inflammatory process initiated in the highly immunoreactive intestine in NEC extends systemically, affecting such organs as the brain. This associated morbidity can place the affected infant at substantially increased risk for serious neuro-developmental delays including a 25% chance of microcephaly. The long term neuro-developmental morbidities associated with NEC further highlights the need for clinical strategies which at the least reduce, if not prevent, this devastating neonatal disease.
Familial Pattern of Preterm Birth: Insights to Etiology?
While the etiology of premature birth remains debated, it has been recognized for some time that women who were themselves preterm are at an increased risk of giving birth to a preterm infant (Porter TF et al Obstet Gynecol 1997:90:63-70
). The more preterm, a woman was, the higher the risk, but some recent publications have shed interesting and perhaps unexpected light on the familial occurrence of preterm birth. In the recent publication by Klebanoff & Keim (op. cit.
) (Click here to read publication
) multi-generation data from Denmark, Sweden and Scotland lent support to this premise. In a study from Denmark, women who were themselves preterm at birth were at a 40% increased risk of preterm birth compared to women born at term (relative risk 1.4
). More interestingly, women born at term but who had a full sibling who was born preterm were also at an increased risk (relative risk 1.4
). Additional studies conducted in Sweden and Scotland reached the same conclusion: the tendency to have preterm birth is transmitted only through the female line, even when the mother is not preterm at her own birth. As the results are incompatible with any classic Mendelian or polygenic model they can only be explained by either imprinting or by mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited by all children from their mother.
In addition a study by Collins and colleagues (Am J Epidemiol 2009:169:712-7
) reported that the social class of the neighborhood in which a pregnant women grew up is as strongly associated with her probability of having a preterm infant as the social class of the neighborhood where she lives during her pregnancy. Miller and colleagues (Miller GE Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009;106:14716-21
) reported that individuals who grew up in low social class circumstances demonstrated decreased glucocorticoid and increased proinflammatory signaling as adults. Klebanoff & Keim (op. cit.
) suggest that from a research perspective, perhaps we should be looking before the time that a woman is pregnant to view preterm birth from a life-course perspective.
Prolacta Bioscience Partnership with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®
Prolacta Bioscience announced that their partnership with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®
has reached a milestone. Financial contributions from Prolacta have now exceeded $100,000 as a result of breast milk donations from very generous mothers! For every ounce of qualified breast milk donated to Helping Hands Milk Bank, Prolacta donates $1 to Susan G. Komen. Breast milk donations make a huge difference in the lives of premature babies in the NICU. A woman's donated breast milk is used to produce Prolacta's human milk formulations providing premature infants with an exclusive human milk diet. Additionally, while each donor is helping to improve the quality of life for premature infants, she is also doing something significant in her own life, as research has shown that breastfeeding reduces a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
These donations also help support breast cancer research organizations through grants that are provided by Komen, making each donor an important member of the Komen family. "We are delighted that Prolacta and all of the generous breast milk donors are partnering and lending their support to this one important cause - ending breast cancer," said Margo K. Lucero, vice president, business development and partnerships at Komen . "We are especially proud of our partnership since studies have shown that there is a correlation between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of breast cancer. By working together, we will fuel the boldest community, fund the best science and make the biggest impact in the fight against this disease." Click here to learn more
To learn more about Prolacta's human milk products, please go to www.prolacta.com.