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Semin Perinatol. 2008 Feb;32(1):28-34. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2007.12.005.

Cardiopulmonary outcomes of extreme prematurity.

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  • 1The Royal Women's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.


Cardiopulmonary diseases dominate the early days after birth for very preterm babies, but most survive these disorders. However, a minority who survive remain oxygen-dependent for a prolonged period, including after discharge. For the remaining very preterm survivors, cardiopulmonary problems are not major health issues in early childhood, apart from higher rates of hospital readmission for respiratory illnesses in the first few years after the primary hospitalization. However, as they progress through childhood and into adulthood, it is clear that very preterm survivors have reduced lung function, higher blood pressure, and other cardiovascular abnormalities that may lead to adverse cardiopulmonary outcomes much earlier in adult life than would normally be expected. The contribution of these cardiopulmonary problems in early adulthood to morbidity in middle and old ages needs to be determined.

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