As survival rates for children born extremely preterm (EP, <28 weeks’ gestation) have increased with advances in perinatal and neonatal care, their long-term functioning and quality of life assume more importance. Outcomes in early childhood provide some information, but outcomes at school-age are more informative of life-long functioning. Children born EP at school-age have substantially higher rates of intellectual impairment, poorer executive, academic and motor function, more neurodevelopmental disability, and poorer health-related quality of life than do contemporaneous term-born controls. Because the rates of adverse outcomes remain unacceptably high, and particularly since some outcomes may be deteriorating rather than improving over time, new strategies to ameliorate these problems, targeting periods before, during and after birth, and throughout the lifespan, are a priority.
Data availability statement
No data are available. There are no data available relevant to this review.
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Contributors LWD conceived and designed the study, and drafted and revised the article. AS, PJA and JLYC conceived and designed the study, and revised the article. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted.
Funding Supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Centre of Clinical Research Excellence #546519; Centres of Research Excellence #1060733 and #1153176; Project Grant #108702, Leadership Fellowship #1176077 to PJA), Medical Research Future Fund (Career Development Fellowship #1141354 to JC) and the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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