Released on March 29, 2024

An innovative new study led by UCF expert examines epigenetic aging in Black pregnant women to reduce disparities and improve birth outcomes.

Blue illustration of a DNA double helix strand

Maternal age is a well-documented factor for preterm birth, with women ages 40 and older at the greatest risk. But as the saying goes, age is just a number.

Carmen Giurgescu
Carmen Giurgescu, PhD, RN, WHNP, FAAN

“Chronological age (age based on a birth year) assumes that individuals age at the same rate, but we know that is not true thanks to advances in research,” says Carmen Giurgescu, a world-renowned maternal health expert and associate dean of research at UCF’s College of Nursing.

“Black women of the same age as white women have a higher risk for preterm birth,” she says.

Giurgescu is leading a new five-year $3.3 million study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, to examine the epigenetic, or biological, age of pregnant Black women and its potential in determining risk for preterm birth.

Read More
Has the UCF College of Nursing Positively Impacted You?

The mission of the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida is to prepare nurse leaders and patient advocates through excellence in education, research and service.

Find out how to give back to your college, today!

More Stories