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!
Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences