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Preterm babies risk early death as adults –Study

Researchers in the United States (U.S.) have said that individuals born preterm face modestly greater risk of dying prematurely in adulthood when compared to those born after 38 weeks. The results of their findings were published in the journal; ‘JAMA Network Open’.

One in 10 babies around the world is born prematurely, and the vastly improved survival rates of preemies also known as preterm babies, is one of the most striking advances of modern health care — with the overwhelming majority of those born preterm reaching adulthood. However, a new research that looked at more than six million people born in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, mainly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, had found that individuals born preterm were at a modestly greater risk of dying prematurely in adulthood when compared to those born after 38 weeks.

In particular, preterm birth was associated with a twofold increase in increased risks of death from cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks or strokes, chronic lung diseases and diabetes compared to those born closer to full gestation, the study said. Premature, also known as preterm birth was when a baby was born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy had been completed, according to the U.S.Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The earlier a baby was born, the higher the risk of death or serious disability. According to the CDC, some risk factors for preterm birth included delivering a premature baby in the past; being pregnant with multiples; tobacco use and substance abuse; and short time, less than 18 months, between pregnancies. However, a woman can still have a premature birth even if she has no known risk factors, reported the ‘cnn’.

Lead study author, Dr. Kari Risnes, who is a professor of pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine and hmHealth Sciences at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: “The take home message is first and foremost that gestational age should be widely clinically recognised as (a) risk factor and information about timing of one’s birth, and complications related to (the) fetal and neonatal period should be included in medical history/ risk assessments.

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