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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Oct;207(4):292.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.07.022. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Neonatal respiratory morbidity in the early term delivery.

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  • 1Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of respiratory morbidity in neonates delivered at "early term" (37-38 weeks) compared with those delivered at 39 weeks.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of singleton deliveries from 37(0/7) to 39(6/7) weeks' gestation. Our primary outcome was composite respiratory morbidity.


Of 2273 deliveries at 37-39 weeks, 51% (n = 1169) delivered in the early term period. Infants delivered at 37-38 weeks had a 2-fold increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome, oxygen use, continuous positive airway pressure use, and composite respiratory morbidity (risk ratio [RR], 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-7.9; oxygen usage RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4-2.9; continuous positive airway pressure RR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.2; composite respiratory morbidity RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4-2.8).


The 2-fold increased risk of composite respiratory morbidity of infants in the early term period supports the urgency for limiting nonindicated deliveries to ≥ 39 weeks' gestation.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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