Trends in outcomes for very preterm infants in the southern region of Sweden over a 10-year period


Pia Lundqvist, RN, RSCN, Neonatal Unit, Children's Hospital, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.
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Aim: To investigate trends in mortality and morbidity in very preterm infants.

Methods: Population-based perinatal register; liveborn infants 22 + 0 to 31 + 6 gestational weeks were investigated (time period 1995–2004). Time trends for mortality and common morbidities were explored using logistic regression analyses.

Results: Data from 1614 liveborn infants were included. There was an increase in live born infants below 25 gestational weeks, annual odds ratio (OR) 1.15 (95% CI: 1.08–1.23) and a decrease in mortality annual OR 0.82 (95% CI: 0.69–0.98). The rates of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and sepsis increased during the study period, annual ORs of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.04–1.17) and 1.09 (95% CI: 1.03–1.16). The duration of mechanical ventilation increased for surviving infants <25 gestational weeks (p = 0.003), while the duration of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) increased for infants <28 gestational weeks (p = <0.001). There were no changes in the rates of intraventricular haemorrhages (IVH, 3–4), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP, 3–5), seizures or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Conclusion: During the 10-year period changes in mortality and morbidity were most pronounced for infants with GA <28 gestational weeks. The increasing rate of sepsis was present in infants <28 gestational weeks, whereas the increase in BPD was demonstrated in the whole study population <32 gestational weeks.