A basic need in pregnancy care is to establish gestational age, and inaccurate estimates may lead to unnecessary interventions and sub-optimal patient management. Current approaches to establish gestational age rely on patient’s recollection of her last menstrual period and/or ultrasound, with the latter being not only costly but also less accurate if not performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore development of an inexpensive and accurate molecular clock of pregnancy would be of benefit to patients and health care systems. Participants in sub-challenge 1 (Prediction of gestational age) will be given whole blood gene expression data collected from pregnant women to develop prediction models for the gestational age at blood draw.
Another challenge in obstetrics, in both low and high-income countries, is identification and treatment of women at risk of developing the ‘great obstetrical syndromes‘. Of these, preterm birth (PTB), defined as giving birth prior to completion of 37 weeks of gestation, is the leading cause of newborn deaths and long-term complications including motor, cognitive, and behavioral impairment. Participants in sub-challenge 2 (Prediction of preterm birth) will be given whole blood gene expression data collected from pregnant women to develop prediction models to determine the risk preterm birth.