Prevalence of Preterm Birth in Pakistan: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Objective: This study is designed to systematically review the prevalence of preterm birth from previously published studies of Pakistan and to find pooled prevalence from available local data.
Methodology: Targeted literature was searched with specific key words such as “preterm birth, prematurity, prevalence and mortality in preterm birth in Pakistan”. Studies with copyright and/or permission issues were excluded. A total of 300 studies were found initially that were somewhat related to the topic, after careful screening only 5 studies met inclusion criteria for cur-rent study. To test the null hypothesis for all studies
evaluating effect Cochran's Q was used and P-values with a level of significance of 5%were considered significant.
Results: The pooled prevalence of Preterm Birth was found to be 18.89% using fixed effect, 16.81% using random effect and 18.89% using fixed effect heterogeneity. I-squared for each effect model was > 75%. On applying Chi2 test we obtained significant p-value i.e. p-value < 0.01.
Conclusion: Through this meta-analysis we found one of the highest pooled prevalence of preterm birth in Pakistan. Reducing preterm birth can result in improvement of overall neonatal health and significantly reduce neonatal mortality in future.
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