Survival and disability at 7-8 years of age in New Zealand infants less than 28 weeks gestation

N Z Med J. 1998 Jul 24;111(1070):264-7.


Aims: To determine the survival and disability rates at 7-8 years in infants of less than 28 weeks gestation born in New Zealand in 1986 and admitted to a neonatal unit.

Methods: In 1986, all infants with birthweight less than 1500 g and admitted to neonatal units were enrolled in a prospective audit of retinopathy of prematurity. Surviving infants, including the subset born at less than 28 weeks gestation, have been assessed at a home visit. Parents completed a comprehensive questionnaire and children underwent a visual assessment and were tested on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.

Results: Of 126 liveborn infants less than 28 weeks gestation, 80 (64%) survived to 7-8 years. Sixty eight children (97% survivors resident in New Zealand) were assessed: 72% had no, and 86% no or only mild disability, 77% had some visual problem, with close to one-third having myopia, strabismus or requiring spectacles and 32% received Ministry of Education funded special needs assistance.

Conclusions: There have been few long-term follow-up studies of infants of less than 28 weeks gestation born in a defined geographical area. The outcome for New Zealand infants is comparable with that in other published data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disabled Children / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / mortality*
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / mortality
  • Survival Analysis