Preterm birth is a leading cause of neonatal and infant mortality as well as shortand
long-term disability. Rates for preterm birth range between 6% and 12% in
developed countries, and generally higher in developing countries. About 40% of all
preterm births occur before 34 weeks and 20% before 32 weeks. The contribution of
these preterm births to overall perinatal morbidity and mortality is more than 50%
Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality both in developed and
developing countries and the burden of neonatal intensive care due to
prematurity on the health system is substantial.
The COX inhibitors reduce preterm birth prior to 37 weeks and have less
maternal adverse effects than the other tocolytics. The delay in preterm delivery
could provide adequate time to administer corticosteroids to the mother.
The COX inhibitors are not associated with improvements in neonatal mortality
or any markers of neonatal morbidity.