Late premature birth ‘increases hospitalisation risk for respiratory illness’

A new study of children up to two years of age has revealed that those born late preterm (34-36 weeks) had a significantly greater risk of recurrent hospitalisation for respiratory illness compared to those who were born full term (later than 37 weeks).

It was also found that the repeat hospital visits also occurred at an earlier age in the late preterm birth group of children.

Dr Oded Breuer and co-authors from Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel, reported their results in an article entitled "Respiratory Hospitalizations and Rehospitalizations in Infants Born Late Preterm". The article is available on the Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology website.

In it, they explain that the children required hospital treatment mainly for wheezing-related illnesses.

Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology editor-in-chief Dr Mary Cataletto, professor of clinical pediatrics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, US, said: "Late preterm infants comprise the largest segment of premature infants and their numbers are growing. There have been few studies looking at the long-term outcomes of these children and the respiratory risks they face.

“The study by Breuer et al. is an important contribution highlighting the respiratory risks and morbidity in late preterm births beyond the first few months of life.”ADNFCR-2094-ID-801837133-ADNFCR