Even mildly premature infants have increased risk of a common respiratory tract infection

May 05, 2009

Even mildly premature infants (gestational ages of 33 weeks through 36 weeks) have an increased risk of medically attended respiratory syncytial virus infection, which is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants and young children and can lead to pneumonia in babies, according to a Kaiser Permanente Division of Research study. The RSV infection risk is higher among infants exposed to supplemental oxygen or assisted ventilation during the neonatal period, said the researchers, explaining that the need for oxygen is sometimes unavoidable for babies who need intensive care.

The results of the study are being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting to be held in Baltimore on Tuesday, May 5.

"Although extreme prematurity is a known risk factor for severe RSV , this study helped us to learn more about risk factors for RSV infection among mildly premature infants. We detected an increased risk even in babies born at 37 weeks," said the study's lead investigator Gabriel J. Escobar, MD, a hospital-based pediatrician and research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. "Further research is needed to determine whether strategies to prevent or mitigate RSV infections are indicated in late preterm ."

The study included 108,794 babies at least 33 weeks gestation discharged from six Kaiser Permanente hospitals between January 1996 and December 2002. Compared to babies 38-40 weeks, babies born at 37 weeks had a 37 percent increased odds of RSV infection, while babies born at 34-36 weeks had a 70 percent increased odds. In contrast, babies born at 41 or more weeks had 14 percent decreased odds. Even after controlling for prematurity, babies who received supplemental oxygen during the birth hospitalization had a 50 to 120 percent increased odds of medically attended RSV infection in the first year of life.

Researchers used a retrospective cohort study design using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards modeling to control for varying follow-up lengths.

Source: Kaiser Permanente (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola death toll passes 7,500

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More children need medical help for RSV than previously known

Feb 04, 2009

More than 2 million children with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are seen in hospitals, emergency rooms and doctors' offices in the United States every year -- many more than doctors know. In fact, only 3 percent of children ...

Preterm birth rate drops

Mar 18, 2009

The nation's preterm birth rate declined slightly in 2007 - a finding that the March of Dimes hopes will prove to be the start of a new trend in improved maternal and infant health.

Late preterm births present serious risks to newborns

Dec 11, 2008

More than half a million babies are born preterm in the United States each year, and preterm births are on the rise. Late preterm births, or births that occur between 34 and 36 weeks (approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the ...

Recommended for you

Ebola death toll passes 7,500

2 hours ago

More than 7,500 people have now died from the Ebola virus, as the number of cases climbs towards 20,000, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Ebola-infected Italian doctor 'recovering'

2 hours ago

An Italian doctor who contracted Ebola in west Africa is recovering but is still in an isolation unit, the specialist clinic in Rome treating him said Monday.

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

Dec 21, 2014

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.