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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Jun;17(3):159-62. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Health outcomes in infancy and childhood of moderate and late preterm infants.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 22-28 Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP, UK.


There has been a long-held belief that outcomes for babies born at moderate and late preterm gestations do not differ substantially from those of infants born at full term. This has recently been challenged by studies highlighting an increased risk of adverse neonatal outcomes, and of poorer cognitive, behavioural and educational outcomes in this population. Data about the effects of birth at moderate and late preterm gestations on later health outcomes are limited, but emerging evidence suggests that ongoing physical health may also be worse in those born just a few weeks before full term. This review summarises the available evidence, considers the factors influencing health outcomes and discusses the implications for the planning and provision of children's health care services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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