Background and Aims When evaluating the impact of Very Preterm Birth (VPB) and/or Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW), it is important to explore Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). Our aim is to study HRQol transition into adulthood.
Methods The Dutch Project on Preterm and Small for gestational age infants (POPS) cohort of 1338 VPB (gestational age < 32 weeks) or VLBW (< 1500 grams) infants in 1983, was contacted to complete online questionnaires at 28 years. In total, 314 of 928 eligible participants (33.8%) completed the Health Utilities Index (HUI) and the London Handicap Scale (LHS), which were also collected at 19yrs. We applied multiple imputation (MI) to correct for missing data and non-response for overall scores. We performed regression analyses and considered P-values < 0.05 (two-sided) as statistically significant.
Results Both the mean HRQoL score measured with the HUI (MAU-score at 19yrs=0.89 (MI:0.83) versus 0.88 (MI:0.85) at 28yrs) and LHS (overall score 19yrs=96.5 (MI:93.9) versus 95.9 (MI:94.6) at 28yrs) did not change significantly. Individual HUI scores, when divided into four levels of disability (MAU-score(x) x=1, 1>x>0.9, 0.9>x>0.7 or x< 0.7) improved in 28%, was stable in 48% and worsened within 24% of respondents.
Conclusions Overall, HRQoL of these Dutch adults born very preterm or VLBW was similar to HRQoL at 19yrs, using two HRQoL measures. This suggests that HRQoL remains stable from 19yrs onwards. Although no changes were found on group level, fluctuations in HRQoL between ages did occur within a large proportion of individuals.