Study finds youngest preemies at significant risk of neurodevelopmental problems
A new Canadian study suggests children born extremely pre-term have a substantial likelihood of developing moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairments.
The research actually pools the results of a number of studies looking at what life is like for the youngest surviving preemies when they reach four-to-eight years of age.
The children in the studies were born between 22 and 25 weeks of gestational age; it is rare for infants to survive if they are born before 22 weeks.
Lead author Dr. Gregory Moore of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario says he and his colleagues did the study in order to have better information to give parents who want to know what their child might experience.
Results varied depending on the gestation week of the child's birth, with the highest rates of impairment in children born at 22 and 23 weeks.
At 22 weeks, 43 per cent of children had moderate to severe impairment and 31 per cent had severe impairment.