Study: Earlier-term babies face higher risk of NICU admission, death

09/30/2013 | Medscape (free registration)

A Pennsylvania study showed that infants born between the gestational age of 37 and 38 weeks faced a seven times higher risk of dying than longer-term infants, and were more likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care or neonatology unit. "[T]he rates of morbidity doubled for each gestational week earlier than 38 weeks, such that even at 37 weeks (the first week of the term gestation) the morbidity rates were twice those of 38 weeks," wrote physicians in an accompanying editorial. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

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