Causes of death among full term stillbirths and early neonatal deaths in the Region of Southern Denmark

Millie Basu, Iben Birgit Gade Johnsen, Sonja Wehberg, Rikke Guldberg Sørensen, Torben Barington, Bente Mertz Nørgård

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We examined the causes of death amongst full term stillbirths and early neonatal deaths.


Our cohort includes women in the Region of Southern Denmark, who gave birth at full term to a stillborn infant or a neonate who died within the first 7 days from 2010 through 2014. Demographic, biometric and clinical variables were analyzed to assess the causes of death using two classification systems: causes of death and associated conditions (CODAC) and a Danish system based on initial causes of fetal death (INCODE).


A total of 95 maternal-infant cases were included. Using the CODAC and INCODE classification systems, we found that the causes of death were unknown in 59/95 (62.1%). The second most common cause of death in CODAC was congenital anomalies in 10/95 (10.5%), similar to INCODE with fetal, genetic, structural and karyotypic anomalies in 11/95 (11.6%). The majority of the mothers were healthy, primiparous, non-smokers, aged 20-34 years and with a normal body mass index (BMI).


Based on an unselected cohort from an entire region in Denmark, the cause of stillbirth and early neonatal deaths among full term infants remained unknown for the vast majority.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)197–202
Publication statusPublished - 23. Feb 2018


  • Cause of death
  • neonatal death
  • perinatal mortality
  • stillbirth
  • Infant Mortality
  • Humans
  • Perinatal Care/statistics & numerical data
  • Infant
  • Cause of Death
  • Pregnancy
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Perinatal Death/etiology
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases/classification
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Prenatal Care/statistics & numerical data
  • Stillbirth/epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Cohort Studies
  • Term Birth


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