About the speaker
Helen Bailey is an epidemiologist in the Child Mortality Research program at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth. She comes from a neonatal and child health nursing and midwifery background. After that, she completed her MPH and PhD at the University of Western Australia. The focus of her thesis was prenatal and early life risk factors for childhood leukemia which led to post-doctoral positions at the International Agency of Research into Cancer in Lyon and with the INSERM Childhood Cancer Epidemiology unit in Paris. Since returning to Perth, her research has focussed on perinatal epidemiology (adverse outcomes of pregnancy and in the child’s early years).
Our program of work aims to conduct a comprehensive series of population studies that can provide greater insights into the specific pathways to death in the early stages of life and stillbirth, using routinely collected administrative health datasets in Western Australia (WA). This talk will highlight the findings of two current studies:
- Profile of severely growth restricted births undelivered at 40 weeks
Severe growth restriction (SGR) (birthweight adjusted for gestational age (GA) and sex below the 3rd percentile) is associated with poor perinatal outcomes so delivery is recommended prior to 40 weeks. However, SGR is often only detected at birth so the rate of SGR undelivered at 40 weeks can be considered as a performance indicator for quality of ante-natal care. This study investigated the trends in the proportion of SGR births undelivered between 2006-2015 in WA and in the most recent data (2013-15) examined the profile of maternal characteristics of these births and their outcomes.
- Disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal perinatal mortality.
Mortality rates are typically higher in Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal Australians across the life span so a major goal of the Australian government has been to ‘close the gap’. This study examined the pattern of stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate disparities over time, including across gestational age groups between 1980-2015.