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[The perinatal situation in France. Trends between 1981 and 1995].

[Article in French]

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Unité de Recherches Epidémiologiques sur la Santé des Femmes et des Enfants, INSERM U149, Villejuif.



Assess the main indicators of health status and medical practice at delivery and to determine the feasibility of a routine national survey.


A survey conducted in 1995 concerned all live births and stillbirths occurring within one week. The sample included 13,147 women in metropolitan France. The results were compared with those of earlier national perinatal surveys.


Since 1981, the perinatal situation in France has shown a rise in maternal age at delivery, development of prenatal care (particularly the number of visits), and an increase in the number of procedures at delivery, notably induction. The preterm delivery calculated for all births has remained unchanged: 5.6% in 1981 and 5.9% in 1995, but the proportion of infants weighing less than 2500 g has increased from 5.2% to 6.2%.


The 1995 national perinatal survey in France, based on all births during one week and involving minimal data collection has provided a representative sample of births and information well adapted to surveillance of the main health and medical practice parameters. This type of survey should become routine and serve as a basic element for epidemiological surveillance.

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