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Pediatr Res. 2013 Jun;73(6):794-801. doi: 10.1038/pr.2013.52. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Pregnancy disorders leading to very preterm birth influence neonatal outcomes: results of the population-based ACTION cohort study.

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Pediatrics and Neonatology Division, Woman and Child Health Department, Ospedale Versilia, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.



We examined the relationships between -pregnancy disorders leading to very preterm birth -(spontaneous preterm labor, prelabor premature rupture of -membranes (PPROM), hypertension/preeclampsia, -intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), antenatal hemorrhage, and maternal -infection), both in isolation and grouped together as -"disorders of placentation" (hypertensive disorders and IUGR) vs. -"presumed infection/inflammation" (all the others), and several unfavorable neonatal outcomes.


We examined a population-based prospective cohort of 2,085 singleton infants of 23-31 wk gestational age (GA) born in six Italian regions (the Accesso alle Cure e Terapie Intensive Ostetriche e Neonatali (ACTION) study).


Neonates born following disorders of placentation had a higher GA and better overall outcomes than those born following infection/inflammation. After adjustment for GA, however, they showed higher risk of mortality (odds ratio, OR: 1.4; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.0-2.0), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) (OR: 2.5; CI: 1.8-3.6), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (OR: 2.0; CI: 1.1-3.5), especially in growth-restricted infants, and a lower risk of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (OR: 0.5; CI: 0.3-0.8) and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) (OR: 0.6; CI: 0.4-1.1) as compared with infants born following -infection/inflammation disorders.


Our data confirm the hypothesis that, in very preterm infants, adverse outcomes are both a function of immaturity (low GA) and of complications leading to preterm birth. The profile of risk is different in different pregnancy disorders.

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