The study, published in the July 28 issue of JAMA, was conducted by University of Illinois at Chicago researcher Dr. Judith Hibbard and colleagues from the Consortium on Safe Labor.
For neonates born at 34 weeks, the odds of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) were increased 40-fold.
"Even at 37 weeks, babies were three times more likely to have respiratory distress syndrome compared to babies born at 39- or 40 weeks," said Hibbard, UIC professor of obstetrics and gynecology and lead author of the study.
Contrary to earlier research, the researchers did not find a significant increase in respiratory illnesses in babies born at 38 weeks, compared with babies born at 39 and 40 weeks gestation, after controlling for multiple factors. Data were collected from electronic medical records on 233,844 deliveries at 19 hospitals across the U.S. between 2002 and 2008.
Hibbard said concern has grown in recent years about the problems associated with late preterm birth and the increasing number of babies delivered early. Respiratory illnesses such as RDS, transient tachypnea, pneumonia and respiratory failure can lead to other problems such as longer hospitalization, the need for a ventilator or antibiotics, and issues with feeding and failure to gain weight.
Medical experts suspect that the increase in late preterm births may be due in part to "convenience" c-sections and induced deliveries that are done, in some cases, "without good medical reason," said Hibbard.
The researchers looked at all newborns 34 weeks or greater with respiratory problems admitted to neonatal intensive care units. Late preterm births were compared with full-term births for resuscitation, respiratory support and respiratory diagnosis.
Using a statistical model, the researchers examined infant respiratory illnesses at each gestational week, controlling for factors that influence respiratory outcomes including maternal medical conditions, length of labor and mode of delivery, and birth weight.
The study found that late preterm births accounted for 9 percent of all deliveries. Thirty-seven percent of late preterm infants were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, compared with 7 percent of term infants.
Overall, respiratory illness occurred in 9 percent of late preterm births in the study.
RDS was the most common respiratory illness, occurring in 11 percent of 34-week deliveries. Only 0.3 percent of 40-week deliveries had RDS.
Transient tachypnea, also called "wet lungs," was the second most common respiratory illness, occurring in 6.4 percent of 34-week deliveries, and decreasing to 0.3 percent at 39 weeks.
"The OB community needs to assess indications for induction of labor," said Hibbard, who hopes that this study will help clinicians to counsel their patients about the importance of not requesting medically unnecessary inductions.
Hibbard suggests that further prospective research needs to be conducted to determine if it may be useful to use steroids to promote fetal lung maturity beyond the current standard of 34 weeks or if it may be useful to use medications to stop premature labor in women beyond 34 weeks to maintain pregnancy longer.
Hibbard's UIC co-authors are Dr. Isabelle Wilkins, professor and director of maternal-fetal medicine, and Dr. Michelle Kominiarek, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine. The Consortium on Safe Labor includes researchers from 12 institutions (19 hospitals) who contributed data to study labor progression and Cesarean delivery.
The study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Shriver Kennedy National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health.
Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy