Editorials

Long term follow-up of extremely preterm neonates

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8252 (Published 04 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8252
  1. Floris Groenendaal, associate professor of neonatology1,
  2. Cuno Uiterwaal, associate professor of clinical epidemiology2
  1. 1Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  2. 2Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands
  1. C.S.P.M.Uiterwaal{at}umcutrecht.nl

Good outcomes data are needed now more than ever

Cohort studies have been used to investigate morbidity and mortality in preterm neonates since the early days of neonatal intensive care and have shown adverse sequelae in many of those who survive.1 Such studies have identified many perinatal risk factors that affect outcome. This has improved quality of care and led to a decrease in the incidence and severity of cerebral palsy in preterm neonates.2 Studies of children followed up into puberty identified risks of abnormalities in psychological development and behaviour associated with preterm birth that were not detectable at younger ages.3 Advances in neonatal intensive care in the 1990s mean that neonates who are born as early as 22-23 weeks’ gestational age are now offered active treatment. Two linked research papers from the EPICure 2 study (doi:10.1136/bmj.e7976 and doi:10.1136/bmj.e7961) look at trends in mortality and long term morbidity in this highly vulnerable group.4 5

Costeloe and colleagues report on survival and neonatal morbidity for babies born at 22-26 weeks’ gestation in England during 2006 and assess changes in …

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