Estimating conception statistics using gestational age information from NHS Numbers for Babies data
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Conception statistics routinely published for England and Wales include pregnancies that result in one or more live- or stillbirths (a maternity) or an abortion. All live births are assumed to be 38 weeks gestation as information on gestation is not collected at birth registration. For the first time, gestational age information from the National Health Service (NHS) Numbers for Babies (NN4B) data has been used to re-estimate conception statistics for 2005. This shows that 72 per cent of conceptions leading to a maternity in fact have a gestation period that differs from 38 weeks and most of these fall at either 37 or 39 weeks. The age-specific conception rates using this revised method are not significantly different to those produced using the current method.