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UK perinatal mortality rates increased in 2021 for first time in seven years

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 18 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2119
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Stillbirths and neonatal deaths rose across the UK in 2021, after seven years of annual reduction, researchers have said.

On 14 September the MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries) collaboration research group published a state of the nation report on perinatal deaths of babies born in the UK in 2021.1 It found that there were 2473 stillbirths in 2021, up from 2292 stillbirths in 2020 and 2399 in 2019. Neonatal deaths (those of a liveborn infant, regardless of gestational age at birth, within the first 28 days2) numbered 1151 in 2021, up from 1051 in 2020 and similar to the 1158 in 2019.

In 2015 the then health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced an ambition to reduce …

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