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  • Increased risk of morbidities and health-care utilisation in children born following preterm labour compared with full-term labour: A population-based study
Houben E, Smits E, Pimenta JM, Black LK, Bezemer ID, Penning-van Beest FJ. J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Oct 4; 55 446-453.

AIM: Recent evidence is emerging indicating long-term effects in infants born after an episode of preterm labour (PTL), even if birth is at term. This population-based study compared long-term rates of outcomes and health-care utilisation (HCU) inhildren born following spontaneous preterm labour, irrespective of gestational age at delivery or of an uncomplicated pregnancy (SPTLu), with children born following full-term labour (FTL), overall stratified by comorbidity status and assessed using a composite morbidity measure (CM). METHODS: Retrospective data on mother-neonate pairs were collected from a patient-linked dataset from the Netherlands Perinatal Registry and the PHARMO Database Network. Children born between 2000 and 2010 were followed until 2012. RESULTS: Of pregnancies in 134 006 mother-neonate pairs, 122 894 (92%) pregnancies resulted in FTL, and 11 112 (8%) resulted in PTL. Of the PTL pregnancies, 6599 (59%) were SPTLu. Mean follow-up after birth was 6.6-6.7 years. Children from SPTLu pregnancies were at increased risk of neurodevelopmental and respiratory conditions compared with those from FTL pregnancies. In children from SPTLu pregnancies, the presence of the CM was associated with an increased risk of respiratory conditions andfailure to thrive. Post-natal hospitalisations (incidence rate (IR) per 100 patient-years: 18.1 vs. 11.7) and specialist referrals (IR per 1000 patient-years: 290.6 vs. 184.5) occurred significantly more frequently in children from SPTLu versus FTL pregnancies. CONCLUSION: The increased risk of morbidities and HCU in children born following SPTLu pregnancy in this population-based setting reinforces the need for safe interventions that can effectively halt labour and lead to an improvement in childhoodoutcomes.