History of the establishment of the Preterm Birth international collaborative (PREBIC)

Calvin J. Hobel, Siobhan M. Dolan, Niree A. Hindoyan, Nanbert Zhong, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: The primary aim of PREBIC is to assess the underlying mechanisms and developing strategies for preterm birth (PTB) prevention. Materials and methods: We used concept mapping and logic models to track goals. This paper reviews our progress over 13 years using working group activities, research developments, guest speakers, and publications. Results: Using interactions between genetics, environment, and behaviors we identified complex interactions between biological systems. PREBIC determined that epidemiology and biomarkers should be an initial focus. In 2005, we initiated presentations by young investigators, yearly satellite meetings, working groups including nutrition and inflammation, assessment of clinical trials, and accepted an invitation by the WHO to begin yearly meetings in Geneva. Discussion: PREBIC used epidemiology to identify PTB factors and complex pathways. Candidate genes are associated with the environment, behavior (stress), obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance. Epigenetic changes and production of proteins can be used as biomarkers to define risk. Subsequently, we found risk factors for PTB that were also associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) of the mother. Tanz et al. (2017) found that a history of PTB is independently predictive of CVD later in life and suggested that a modest proportion of PTB-CVD association was accounted by CVD risk factors, many of which have been identified in this paper. Conclusion: Our findings support a relationship between genes, environment, behaviors and risk of CVD in women. The next several years must assess which factors are modifiable early in life and before pregnancy to prevent PTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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