Background Hypothermia isgenerally thought to be a risk factor of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants. However, previous studies have primarilyinvestigated the association between hypothermia and death.
Aim To investigate the association between body temperature and severe RDS.
Methods The study population consists of all infants born before 32 weeks of gestationand admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Aalborg UniversityHospital, Denmark April 1997 and December 2011. Rectal temperature was measuredat admission. Severe RDS was defined as the need for surfactant treatment or death within the first 3 days of life in premature infants bornbefore 32 weeks gestation. Data are provided bynational registries and will be analysed by logistic regression while adjusting formarkers of infection, gestational age, time from delivery to admission, asphyxiaand a proxy variable for fetal growth restriction.
Results Preliminary results from 593 infants show that64% (n = 381) had hypothermia (< 36.5oC), 33% (n = 197) had arectal temperature within the normal range (36.5oC - 37.5oC)and 3% (n = 15) had hyperthermia (> 37.5oC). The unadjusted odds for need for surfactantif hypothermic were almost twice the odds in normothermic newborns at admission (OR 1.92 95% CI: 1.34; 2.76). Further analyses are ongoing and refined resultswill be presented.
Conclusions In very preterm neonates the unadjusted odds of severe RDS was almosttwo times higher if they had hypothermia at admission compared to those withnormotermia.