Calcium Deposits: A Possible Trigger in Preterm Births

Researchers have uncovered a surprising possible trigger for some preterm births: calcium buildup in the womb, similar to the kind that stiffens older people’s arteries or causes kidney stones. Ohio researchers studying more than 100 pregnant women found that when a mom-to-be’s water breaks too early, the culprit seems to be abnormal calcium deposits that make the normally elastic amniotic sac prone to rupture.

It’s a small study and more research is needed to prove if calcification really is behind this baffling kind of prematurity and if so, what to do about it. But the research, reported Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, raises the possibility of investigating interventions.

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