Showing posts with label late preterm infants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label late preterm infants. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When Late-Preterm Infants Grow Up, How Do They Fare Socioeconomically?

Our journal and others publish a number of studies on long-term follow-up of preterm infants, but rarely do we see a cohort of infants followed into middle to older age adulthood—at least until this week when Heinonen et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.203-0951) present the results of their Helsinki Birth Cohort Study of almost 9000 Finnish late pre-term infants (34-36 weeks gestation) born 1934-1944 and followed up to ages 56 to 66 years in terms of their occupation and socioeconomic status compared to term infants born during that same time period.

The results suggest some long-term socioeconomic issues in late preterm infants that we can learn from and maybe even try to prevent now that we are aware of them.  Rarely do we get a glimpse of what lies ahead for our smallest patients born pre-term, so take the time to learn what occurs over 5 to 6 decades of follow-up in this study—since other studies like this one are likely to be few and far between.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

State of the Art Care for Late Preterm Infants

In the last few years, the pediatric community has developed a growing awareness about late preterm infants. These children were previously considered "near term", which meant that they could be managed, for the most part, like term infants.

It is now very clear that they are at risk for long-term neurodevelopment and pulmonary disabilities, perhaps due to interruption of development at a crucial period, as proposed by Kugelman and Colin (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1131) in the September State of the Art Review. Pediatric practitioners will encounter many of these infants in their practices as they constitute over 75% of all premature infants. Educators will also need to be aware of the subtle cognitive deficits for which these infants are at risk.