Review| Volume 33, ISSUE 3, P68-74, March 2023

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Long-term health consequences of prematurity

Published:February 02, 2023DOI:


      Preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation) affects over 10% of live births. The last two to three decades have seen an improvement in survival of preterm infants, especially those born at extremes of viability. Preterm birth results in interruption of organ development and maturation that occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy. This increases the risk of short term mortality and morbidity. As an incremental improvement in survival of preterm neonates into adulthood is seen, this has brought to light the long term health needs of this subgroup of the population. Adolescents and adults born preterm are at increased risk of chronic respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, visual and hearing problems and adverse neurodevelopmental and mental health outcomes. Better awareness amongst clinicians, targeted follow-up, and screening, would help in early detection and timely intervention to optimize their long term health outcomes and survival.


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      Further reading

        • Chehade H.
        • Simeoni U.
        • Guignard J.-P.
        • Boubred F.
        Preterm birth: long term cardiovascular and renal consequences.
        Curr Pediatr Rev. 2018; 14: 219-226
        • Johnson S.
        • Marlow N.
        Early and long-term outcome of infants born extremely preterm.
        Arch Dis Child. 2016; 102: 97-102
        • Moore T.
        • Hennessy E.M.
        • Myles J.
        • et al.
        Neurological and developmental outcome in extremely preterm children born in England in 1995 and 2006: the EPICure studies.
        BMJ. 2012; 345
      1. Perinatal management of extreme preterm birth before 27 weeks of gestation A framework for practice. British Association of Perinatal Medicine, 2019
        • Pravia C.I.
        • Benny M.
        Long-term consequences of prematurity.
        Cleve Clin J Med. 2020; 87: 759-767