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Neurodevelopmental Impairment in Preterm Infants Studied

TUESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- All extremely preterm infant survivors have a substantial likelihood of developing moderate to severe impairment; however, the risk of neurodevelopmental impairment declines with increasing gestation, according to a meta-analysis published online Aug. 26 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Gregory P. Moore, M.D., from the Ottawa Hospital in Canada, and colleagues identified and performed a meta-analysis of nine studies published since 2004 that reported four- to eight-year developmental outcomes in children born at 22 to 25 weeks of gestation.

The researchers found that all extremely preterm infant survivors have a substantial likelihood of developing moderate to severe impairment. They also observed a significant, 6.5 percent decrease in moderate-to-severe neurodevelopmental impairment with each weekly increase in gestation. However, they note that confidence intervals were wide at the lower gestations and heterogeneity was high at the higher gestations.

"Our results provide novel pooled data for some of the most clinically important outcomes for extremely preterm infant survivors, along with insight into the limitations of data on their long-term neurodevelopmental impairment rates," Moore and colleagues write.

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