AIM: To study health, well-being in daily life, educational level and socio-economic status in adulthood in moderately premature infants and the relationship to gender and socio-economic status at birth. METHODS: Prospective long-term follow-up study of a cohort of infants with a gestational age between 32 and 37 weeks and term controls born between January 1972 and June 1973 in the municipality of Odense in Denmark. Information about life circumstances at 32 years was acquired by a mailed questionnaire. RESULTS: The study comprised 373 participants aged 31-32 years (56% of the original cohort). Questionnaires were returned by 69 participants who were born moderately premature and 304 participants who were born at term (53 and 57%, respectively, of the original cohort). Multivariate analysis showed that social status and level of education at 32 years were predicted by social status and maternal educational level at birth with no demonstrable effects due to gestation or gender. CONCLUSION: Moderately premature infants, born before the era of intensive care, at the age of 32 years with regard to health, quality of life, education and social status proved to fare as well as their term counterparts.
Acta Paediatrica, 2013, Vol 102, Issue 6, p. 602-606