Aims The number of neonates born preterm is increasing and children born at low gestational ages face a range of risks. We present the first results of the EPIPAGE 2 study, a national cohort of very and moderately preterm children in France.
Methods EPIPAGE 2 is a prospective population-based cohort study conducted in 25 regions of France in 2011 including extremely (22–26 weeks, 8-month recruitment), very (27–31 weeks, 6-month recruitment) and moderately preterm (32–34 weeks, 1-month recruitment) children. It aims to examine short and long term outcomes (survival, health and development) of these children and their determinants. Data on pregnancy, delivery, and neonatal events were extracted from the obstetric and neonatal records.
Results A total of 5565 births were included in the EPIPAGE 2 study: 1752 were born extremely preterm (898 (51%) stillbirths and 854 (49%) live births), 2728 very preterm (298 (11%) stillbirths and 2430 (89%) live births), and 1085 moderately preterm (28 (2.5%) stillbirths and 1057 (97.5%) live births). The survival rates for extremely preterm babies were 23% of all births and 48% of live births. The corresponding survival rates were respectively 83% and 93% at 27–31 weeks and 96% and 99% at 32–34 weeks. In 1997 (EPIPAGE 1 study), the survival rates were 20% of all births and 46% of live births at 22–26 weeks and 76% of all births and 88% of live births at 27–31 weeks.
Conclusion Survival has improved among very preterm children, but has not changed at extremely low gestational ages.