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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Researchers Develop New Statistical Methods Which Reveal New Information about Mortality Risk in Preterm Infants

Epidemiology and biostatistics associate professor, Dr. Marco Geraci and assistant professor Dr. Nansi Boghossian, both at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, have collaborated with researchers at the University of Vermont and the University of Rome to conduct a study on mortality risk in preterm infants based on head-to-body proportions. Their study was published in Statistical Methods in Medical Research.

With this project, supported by an ASPIRE grant and National Institutes of Public Health (NIH) funding, the authors developed an approach to risk classification based on quantile contours and allometric modelling of multivariate anthropometric measurements. They propose using the allometric direction tangent to the directional quantile envelope to identify abnormal ratios.

They apply the proposed approach to a large dataset from the Vermont Oxford Network containing observations of birthweight and head circumference for more than 150,000 infants born very preterm at 22 to 29 weeks’ gestation.

“We know that growth-restricted preterm infants have a higher risk of mortality as compared to infants whose size is appropriate for their gestational age. However, the negative effect of growth-restriction is compounded by a disproportion between head and body,” says Dr. Geraci.

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