Neonatal morbidity in moderately preterm infants: a Swedish national population-based study

J Pediatr. 2011 Feb;158(2):239-44.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.07.047. Epub 2010 Sep 9.


Objective: To determine the gestational age (GA)-specific risks for neonatal morbidity and use of interventions in infants born at 30 to 34 completed gestational weeks.

Study design: A population-based Swedish study including 6674 infants born during 2004-2008. Risks for neonatal morbidity and use of interventions were investigated with respect to GA and birth weight standard deviation scores.

Results: Acute lung disorder was diagnosed in 28%, hypoglycemia in 16%, bacterial infection in 15% and hyperbilirubinemia in 59% of the infants. Thirty-eight percent had received antenatal steroid therapy, 43% nasal continuous positive airway pressure, 5.5% required mechanical ventilation, 5.2% were treated with surfactant, and 30% with antibiotic therapy. Neonatal morbidity rates increased with decreasing GA, with odds ratios for different outcomes ranging from 2.1 to 23 at 30 weeks compared with 34 weeks of GA. Low birth weight standard deviation scores was more common at lower GA and was associated with increased morbidity rates.

Conclusions: Despite general advances in perinatal care, moderately preterm infants still have substantially increased risks for neonatal morbidity. Whereas the neonatal morbidity rate was similar to results of previous reports, management of respiratory problems differed markedly from other studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / mortality*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Sweden