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The landscape for rare diseases in 2024. Lancet Glob Health. 2024; 12:(3)

Hommen JM, Batista JP, Bollheimer C Movement patterns during gait initiation in older adults with various stages of frailty: a biomechanical analysis. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act. 2024; 21

Withanage NN, Black K, Botfield JR, Mazza D Preconception health risk factors documented in general practice electronic medical records. BMJ Sex Reprod Health. 2024; 0:1-7


02 April 2024
Volume 35 · Issue 4


George Winter provides an overview of recently published articles that may be of interest to practice nurses. Should you wish to look at any of the papers in more detail, a full reference is provided.

Preconception care (PCC) describes interventions that identify and modify behavioural, biomedical, and social risks among reproductive-aged women. Although PCC aims to enhance healthy pregnancy outcomes through managing risk factors like obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes, and mental health conditions, it is unclear whether PCC risk factors are identifiable in general practice records. In this Australian study, Withanage et al (2024) determined the extent to which medical and lifestyle preconception health risk factors are documented in GP electronic medical records (EMRs).

The authors retrospectively audited the documentation of medical and lifestyle preconception risk factors of 100 consecutive women aged 18–44 years who attended ten general practices over nine months in 2022.

Most of the reproductive-aged women had their smoking status, blood pressure, alcohol consumption and body-mass index documented in their GP EMRs, and the authors state that their study demonstrates the current burden of risk of potential adverse pregnancy outcomes. They note the relatively high prevalence of preconception lifestyle risk factors and medical conditions. Thus, 14% smoked, 24% were obese, 7% had high blood pressure, 5% had diabetes, 28% had a mental health condition, 13% had asthma, 6% had thyroid disease and 17% had been prescribed a potentially teratogenic medication. This study ‘highlights the potential to use information in the EMR to identify reproductive-aged women who could most benefit from PCC.’

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