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Preterm birth and unintentional injuries: risks to children, adolescents and young adults show no consistent pattern

Authors

  • Susanna Calling,

    Corresponding author
    • Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
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  • Karolina Palmér,

    1. Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
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  • Lena Jönsson,

    1. Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
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  • Jan Sundquist,

    1. Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
    2. Stanford Prevention Research Center, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
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  • Marilyn Winkleby,

    1. Stanford Prevention Research Center, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
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  • Kristina Sundquist

    1. Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
    2. Stanford Prevention Research Center, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
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Correspondence

Susanna Calling, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Clinical Research Centre (CRC), building 28, floor 11, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, Skåne University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden.

Tel: +46-40-391384 |

Fax: +46-40-391370 |

Email: susanna.calling@med.lu.se

Abstract

Aim

Preterm birth is associated with a number of physical and mental health issues. The aim of this study was to find out whether there was also any association between individuals born preterm in Sweden between 1984 and 2006 and the risk of unintentional injuries during childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

Methods

The study followed 2 297 134 individuals, including 5.9% born preterm, from 1985 to 2007 for unintentional injuries leading to hospitalization or death (n = 244 021). The males and females were divided into four age groups: 1–5 years, 6–12 years, 13–18 years and 19–23 years. Hazard ratios were calculated for falls, transport injuries and other injuries.

Results

After adjusting for a comprehensive set of covariates, some of the preterm subgroups demonstrated slightly increased risks of unintentional injuries, while others showed slightly decreased risks. However, most of the estimates were borderline or non-significant in both males and females. In addition, the absolute risk differences between individuals born preterm and full term were small.

Conclusion

Despite the association between preterm birth and a variety of physical and mental health consequences, this study shows that there is no consistent risk pattern between preterm birth and unintentional injuries in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

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