Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Gestational age at birth and childhood admissions

Gestational age at birth and health outcomes: obstetric decisions matter

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n94 (Published 14 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n94
  1. Eilis M Kennedy, consultant child psychiatrist,
  2. Elizabeth O’Nions, research associate
  1. Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London NW3 5BA, UK
  1. ekennedy{at}tavi-port.nhs.uk

Coathup and colleagues’ important study shows that hospital admission rates during childhood are strongly associated with gestational age at birth.1 Excess hospital admissions in preterm and early term infants were largely due to increased susceptibility to infections, particularly respiratory infections. An increased risk of admission to hospital remained throughout childhood even among children born at 38 or 39 weeks’ gestation (37% of births in the cohort). …

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