March 29, 2008

Health Risks of Premature Babies

It is found that premature babies have higher death rates in their childhood years and are more likely not to have children in their adult years. This is based on a study that followed 1.2 million Norwegian births over many years.

Most premature babies grow up to have good health and be able to reproduce normally but the risk of health and reproduction problems are significantly higher than babies born at full term. Premature babies also have the risks of lung problems, disabilities, mental retardation, and being mentally behind other children their age in school. The study found that the preemies were more likely to die in their first year of life than full term babies and the higher risk continues throughout their life.

Things that could help prevent premature births include hormone treatments for women with a history of giving premature birth, not inducing labor unless it is needed and medically necessary, and reducing the number of embryos implanted at one time during fertility treatments. Women that are born premature have a higher risk of having premature babies when they give birth.

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