Importance: Since 2004-2007, national guidelines and recommendations have been developed for the management of extremely preterm births in Sweden. If and how more uniform management has affected infant survival is unknown.
Objective: To compare survival of extremely preterm infants born during 2004-2007 with survival of infants born during 2014-2016.
Design, setting and participants: All births at 22-26 weeks' gestational age (n = 2205) between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2007, and between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, in Sweden were studied. Prospective data collection was used during 2004-2007. Data were obtained from the Swedish pregnancy, medical birth, and neonatal quality registries during 2014-2016.
Exposures: Delivery at 22-26 weeks' gestational age.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was infant survival to the age of 1 year. The secondary outcome was 1-year survival among live-born infants who did not have any major neonatal morbidity (specifically, without intraventricular hemorrhage grade 3-4, cystic periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity stage 3-5, or severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia).
Results: During 2004-2007, 1009 births (3.3/1000 of all births) occurred at 22-26 weeks' gestational age compared with 1196 births (3.4/1000 of all births) during 2014-2016 (P = .61). One-year survival among live-born infants at 22-26 weeks' gestational age was significantly lower during 2004-2007 (497 of 705 infants [70%]) than during 2014-2016 (711 of 923 infants [77%]) (difference, -7% [95% CI, -11% to -2.2%], P = .003). One-year survival among live-born infants at 22-26 weeks' gestational age and without any major neonatal morbidity was significantly lower during 2004-2007 (226 of 705 infants [32%]) than during 2014-2016 (355 of 923 infants [38%]) (difference, -6% [95% CI, -11% to -1.7%], P = .008).
Conclusions and relevance: Among live births at 22-26 weeks' gestational age in Sweden, 1-year survival improved between 2004-2007 and 2014-2016.