Late preterm births and respiratory complications

January 01, 0001

Late preterm births and respiratory complications

This large group of US researcher endeavored to assess short- term respiratory morbidity in late preterm births compared with term births. They did this using a cohort of deliveries from 19 hospitals in the US (n=233 844 deliveries). Late preterm births were compared with term births in regard to resuscitation, respiratory support, and other respiratory diagnoses. A multivariate logistic regression analysis compared infants from each gestational week. Counfounding factors that influence respiratory outcomes were controlled for.

The researchers found: "Of 19,334 late preterm births, 7055 (36.5%) were admitted to a NICU and 2032 had respiratory compromise. Of 165 993 term infants, 11,980 (7.2%) were admitted to a NICU, 1874 with respiratory morbidity. The incidence of respiratory distress syndrome was 10.5% (390/3700) for infants born at 34 weeks' gestation vs 0.3% (140/41 764) at 38 weeks. Similarly, incidence of transient tachypnea of the newborn was 6.4%(n = 236) for those born at 34 weeks vs 0.4% (n = 155) at 38 weeks, pneumonia was 1.5% (n = 55) vs 0.1% (n = 62), and respiratory failure was 1.6% (n = 61) vs 0.2% (n = 63). Standard and oscillatory ventilator support had similar patterns. Odds of respiratory distress syndrome decreased with each advancing week of gestation until 38 weeks compared with 39 to 40 weeks (adjusted odds ratio [OR

The researchers concluded: "In a contemporary cohort, late preterm birth, compared with term delivery, was associated with increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome and other respiratory morbidity."

This study helps characterize the risk of respiratory morbidity associated with late preterm birth.

For the full abstract, click here.

JAMA 304(4):419-425, 28 July 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Respiratory Morbidity in Late Preterm Births. The Consortium on Safe Labor.

Category: R. Respiratory. Keywords: preterm birth, respiratory distress, ventilator, transient tachypnea, pneumonia, cohort, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 September 2010

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