MONDAY, Jan. 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There has been an increase in the proportion of extremely preterm infants who survive to discharge, according to a study published in the Jan. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Edward F. Bell, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues examined survival, in-hospital morbidities, care practices, and neurodevelopmental and functional outcomes at 22 to 26 months corrected age in 10,877 infants born at 22 to 28 weeks gestational age between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2018, including 2,566 born before 27 weeks.

The researchers found that 78.3 percent of the infants survived to discharge, which was an increase from 76.0 percent in 2008 to 2012. Survival to discharge was 10.9 and 94.0 percent for live-born infants at 22 and 28 weeks, respectively. Among actively treated infants, survival was 30.0 and 55.8 percent at 22 and 23 weeks, respectively. Infants born at younger gestational ages had an increased likelihood of all in-hospital morbidities. Among the infants born before 27 weeks, 8.4, 1.5, 2.5, 49.9, and 15.4 percent had moderate to severe cerebral palsy, had bilateral blindness, required hearing aids or cochlear implants, had been rehospitalized, and required mobility aids or other supportive devices by two-year follow-up. Of the 2,458 infants who were fully evaluated, 48.7, 29.3, and 21.2 percent had no or mild, moderate, and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, respectively.

“As more premature infants survive, long-term outcomes become increasingly important,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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