Aim: To study very low gestational age (VLGA, <32 weeks) infants at 2 years of age and to identify the predictors of adverse outcomes.
Methods: A population-based cohort of 155 surviving VLGA infants born in Estonia in 2007 was followed up and compared with a matched full-term (FT) control group. A logistic regression model was used to test associations between risk factors and adverse outcomes.
Results: No impairment was found in 60% of the VLGA infants. Neurodevelopmental impairment was noted in 12% of VLGA infants, with 8% of the infants affected by cerebral palsy without independent walking, 5% with cognitive delay, 10% with language delay and 1% with hearing impairment. The differences between preterm and FT infants in terms of the mean Cognitive, Language, and Motor Composite Scores assessed using the Bayley-III scales were in excess of 0.5 SD. Somatic growth delay was a significant problem among preterm infants. The existence of severe neonatal cerebral lesions was the most significant predictor of adverse outcomes.
Conclusion: In all domains studied, adverse conditions were more prevalent among VLGA infants than among the FT control group. Efforts to reduce neonatal morbidity in preterm infants should be a key priority for health care in Estonia.
©2012 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica ©2012 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.