October 1, 2013
Study Examines Adverse Neonatal Outcomes Associated With Early-Term Birth
Early-term births (37 to 38 weeks gestation) are associated with higher neonatal morbidity (illness) and with more neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or neonatology service admissions than term births (39 to 41 weeks gestation), according to a study by Shaon Sengupta, M.D., M.P.H., now of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and formerly of the University at Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues.
Researchers examined data over a three-year period from medical records of 33,488 live births at major hospitals in Erie County, N.Y., 29,741 at a gestational age between 37 to 41 weeks.
"We conclude that early-term delivery is associated with greater morbidity and with increased admission to the NICU or neonatology service in a geographic area-based setting. This increased risk is more profound with cesarean section deliveries but exists for vaginal deliveries as well," the study concludes.
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