Late premature birth increases risk of recurrent hospitalization for respiratory illness
A new study of children up to 2 years of age showed that those born late preterm (34-36 weeks) had a significantly greater risk of recurrent hospitalization due to respiratory illness compared to those who were born full term (>37 weeks). The repeat hospital visits also occurred at an earlier age in the late preterm birth group of children, according to an article in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.
Oded Breuer, MD and coauthors from Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel reported their results in the article entitled "Respiratory Hospitalizations and Rehospitalizations in Infants Born Late Preterm." The children required hospital treatment mainly for wheezing-related illness.
"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," says Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine.