Hear Meghan Azad, Natalie Rodriguez, Merilee Brockway and David Burgner, co-leads of the International Perinatal Outcomes in the Pandemic (iPOP) Study, supported by HDR UK, talk about the work of the iPOP team over the last 2 years. The iPOP study explored the impact of the pandemic lockdown on preterm births worldwide, including variances across countries.
Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death worldwide, but its causes are largely unknown. During the early COVID-19 lockdowns, dramatic reductions in preterm births (up to 90% in Denmark) and very low birth weight (70% in Ireland) were reported. Lockdowns dramatically impacted maternal workload, access to healthcare, hygiene practices, and air pollution – all of which could impact preterm birth rates and might affect pregnant women differently in different regions of the world. To examine these trends globally, the iPOP team established an international consortium involving over 150 collaborators from 42 countries in less than 6 months.
This is an exciting opportunity to hear about the work of the iPOP team on this important research question, and the challenges and lessons learned during the course of this study.