Medicine: Premature & Past Due

Though doctors still argue about just what constitutes a premature or postmature birth, both kinds are hazardous for the infants involved, specialists told the American Academy of General Practice in San Francisco last week. Half of all infant deaths are among "preemies," but not enough research is being done to cut down the death rate, said Dr. James L. Dennis of Oakland, Calif. And while some authorities deny that there is such a thing as postmaturity, Chicago's Dr. Mitchell J. Nechtow said that 12% of births are delayed two weeks beyond the due date, and 4% are three weeks late.

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