Despite Improved Survival, Developmental Delay Still Common in Preemies

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Between 1997 and 2011 there was an increase in survival without severe or moderate neuromotor or sensory disabilities.
Between 1997 and 2011 there was an increase in survival without severe or moderate neuromotor or sensory disabilities.

HealthDay News — During the past 2 decades, survival and survival without severe or moderate neuromotor or sensory disabilities have increased among preterm infants, according to a study published online in The BMJ.

Véronique Pierrat, MD, PhD, from the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité Research Center, and colleagues evaluated neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years corrected age for 5567 neonates born in 2011 at 22 to 34 completed weeks of gestation; 4199 survivors at 2 years corrected age were included in follow-up.

The researchers found that survival at 2 years corrected age was 51.7%, 93.1%, and 98.6%, respectively, for liveborn neonates at 22 to 26, 27 to 31, and 32 to 34 weeks of gestation; 1 infant born at 22 to 23 weeks survived. The overall rate of cerebral palsy was 6.9%, 4.3%, and 1.0% for those born at 24 to 26, 27 to 31, and 32 to 34 weeks of gestation. 

The proportion of children with an Ages and Stages Questionnaire result below threshold was 50.2%, 40.7%, and 36.2%, respectively. Between 1997 and 2011 there was an increase in survival without severe or moderate neuromotor or sensory disabilities, from 45.5% to 62.3% at 25 to 26 weeks of gestation.

"In this large cohort of preterm infants, rates of survival and survival without severe or moderate neuromotor or sensory disabilities have increased during the past 2 decades, but these children remain at high risk of developmental delay," the authors write.

Reference

Pierrat V, Marchand-Martin L, Arnaud C, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years for preterm children born at 22 to 34 weeks' gestation in France in 2011: EPIPAGE-2 cohort study. BMJ. 2017;358:j3448.

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