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Almost 10% of babies born prematurely in Switzerland
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-07-04 14:22
In Switzerland almost 10 percent of babies are born early, one of the highest rates in Europe, the official Swissinfo website reported on Tuesday.

Figures from the Swiss Federal Statistics Office show that in 2004, 90 percent of the 72,125 hospital births were full term. Pre-term births accounted for 9 percent and 1 percent were late.

Switzerland's figure of 9 percent of births before the 37th week gives it the second highest rate in Europe after Austria, according to the statistics office.

Hans Ulrich Bucher, professor of neonatology at Zurich University Hospital and president of Swiss Society of Neonatology, said that it was not known why there was such a high rate in Switzerland in particular.

But he said that the rate was generally high in all industrialized countries. Older mothers and more multiple births are said to be contributory factors.

"Older age (for birth) means more complications, more diabetes, pre-eclampsia and more problems in pregnancy. It has a higher pre-term rate," Bucher told Swissinfo.

Another explanation was the fact there have been more multiple births, which are often pre-term, Bucher said. Around two-thirds of twins are born early.

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