• Health-related quality of life;
  • Outcome;
  • Questionnaire;
  • SF 36;
  • VLBW


Aim:  To assess health-related quality of life of young adults born very preterm compared with a term control group.

Methods:  A cohort of preterm infants <1250 g and a term control group, both born between 1983 and 1985, were surveyed as adults at the median age of 23 years. Questionnaires including the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF 36) and a modified lifestyle questionnaire assessed quality of life, health attitudes, height and weight, chronic diseases, medication and drug consumption.

Results:  Fifty-two preterms and 75 controls matched for age and sex participated in the study. There were no significant differences in the quality of life as assessed by SF 36. Former preterms were significantly smaller than their term controls but not so for body mass index. The overall consumption of illicit drugs was significantly lower in former preterms. Moreover, former preterms went significantly less often in for sports. There was a trend for higher prevalence of chronic diseases in male compared to female preterms, but their use of medication was significantly lower.

Conclusion:  Adults born very preterm show no significant differences in their quality of life when compared to controls in early adulthood. However, based on their lifestyle and health disadvantages, male preterm subjects constitute a risk group when entering early adulthood with a clear need for continued attention.