European Perinatal Health Report: Core indicators of the health and care of pregnant women and babies in Europe from 2015 to 2019

Euro-Peristat Network, Audrey Billy, Aline Lecomte, Jessica Pastore, Guy Weber

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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Abstract

The burden of perinatal mortality and morbidity remains a major public health concern in Europe. This is because of the large number of individuals concerned – about five million women giving birth to five million babies in Europe every year – and the high psychological, social, and financial costs of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Good perinatal outcomes set the stage for a positive lifelong trajectory of physical and mental health for new parents and their babies. In contrast, perinatal complications can have persistent negative effects, including disabling neurodevelopmental impairments resulting from very preterm birth, severe fetal growth restriction, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy;1,2 accumulating evidence links poor newborn health to a broader range of childhood and adult health problems, including chronic diseases.3 For the mother, poor pregnancy-related outcomes can have long lasting effects on mental health and be associated with morbidity in later life.4 This health burden is greater among disadvantaged families, who face higher risks of perinatal morbidity, leading to the transmission of social and health inequalities across generations.
Because the countries of Europe share comparable standards of living and generally well developed healthcare systems, but are very diverse in their health policies and practices, examining differences in perinatal indicators can shed light on the policies and practices that counteract health risks and optimise the health of parents and babies. These indicators may also allow countries to benchmark their performance and identify areas where progress is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
PublisherEuro-Peristat
Number of pages134
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022

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