Preterm Birth Rate in Germany— No Numbers Exist for This
The preterm birth numbers in Germany given in the article “Risk-related prevention of preterm birth in outpatient care” by Berger et al. (1), are wrong, if based on the usual use of [German] language. The authors refer to the Federal Evaluation of the Institute for Quality Assurance and Transparency in Health Care (Institut für Qualitätssicherung und Transparenz im Gesundheitswesen, IQTIG) on obstetrics. However, the IQTIG no longer publishes a volume with tables for all statistics and results relating to obstetrics (as was the case with the BQS reports on obstetrics), but rather only publishes the quality indicators for evaluation of obstetrics departments. For these, the institute does not count the number of preterm born children in relation to the number of pregnant women, but only the number of preterm births as number of born children. According to IQTIG, there were 761 176 births and 776 188 children born in Germany in 2017, with 66 730 children born preterm. This is 8.6% of all children born. This number is mentioned in the contribution by Berger et al. (1).
The same evaluation of the IQTIG shows that in 98.1% of all births were singletons, and 1.9% were multiples. The number of premature children that the IQTIG mentions includes about 15 000 children born as multiples, of approximately 7000 multiple deliveries . This would result in a total of around 59 000 preterm births, and a preterm delivery rate of 7.7%, and not 8.6%.
Dr. med. Susanna Kramarz
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Berger R, Rath W, Abele H, Garnier Y, Kuon RJ, Maul H: Reducing the risk of preterm birth by ambulatory risk factor management. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 858–64 VOLLTEXT|
Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde, 202110.1007/s00112-021-01219-4