Highlights in this issue


Vitamin D deficiency at the Arctic Circle


As many as 82% of adolescents living in Norbotten County in Sweden, near the Arctic Circle, are vitamin D deficient in winter, even though vitamin D intake meets current national recommendations. Surprisingly, vitamin D deficiency is as common in controls as in food allergic adolescents eliminating vitamin D–containing foods (milk, egg and/or fish). The result suggests that the current national recommendations on vitamin D intake are insufficient, especially in the northern parts of Sweden.

See article by Karin Persson et al (pp. 644–649), and commentary by Thomas H Casswall (pp. 569–571).

Differences in parents’, nurses’ and physicians’ views of NICU parent support


Linda S Franck and Anna Axelin have conducted a survey about parent support at four Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in Greater London. They found that there were many differences in the type and frequency of support given by nurses and physicians and that perceived by parents. Particularly the mothers desired more involvement in infant care such as skin-to-skin care and Nidcap. See article (pp. 590–596).

The adult life of ex-preemies


This issue includes two papers on the life of ex-preemies. First, Holmdis Methusalemsdottir et al report that adolescents born with extremely low birth weight (ELBW) in Iceland experience their quality of life lower on physical and emotional dimensions, while their social well-being and participation is similar to adolescents born at term. See article (pp. 597–601).

The second article describes adult survivors of preterm birth in Denmark. At 32 years of age, adults who were moderately premature at birth proved to fare as well as term peers with regard to health quality of life, education and social status. Marianne Ulrich et al. (pp. 602–606).

See also commentary by Gorm Greisen (pp. 564–566).

Executive functions and learning skills in extreme preemies born in the 1990s


Children born extremely preterm (<26 weeks’ gestation) displayed particularly more problems in executive functions and learning skills at 11 years of age compared with peers born full-term. The result was found in a cohort of 86 preterm survivors born in Sweden in the 1990s and an equal number of controls. However, it is worthy to note that the majority of the extremely preterms (85%) were in mainstream schools and doing fairly well. See article by Aijaz Farooqi et al. (pp. 625–634).

Parents’ sleep quality affects children's sleep


Co-sleeping has been linked with a range of sleep problems. But this Japanese study shows that for parents and children who share a bedroom, the timing of bedtime rather than co-sleeping may be a key factor in modulating sleep patterns. Trying to get children asleep and subsequently falling asleep at a similar time may disturb parents’ sleep quality which may subsequently affect the sleep of their children. See article by Sachiko Iwata et al. (pp. e257–e262).