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Doyle LW, Spittle A, Anderson PJ, Cheong JLY. School-aged neurodevelopmental outcomes for children born extremely preterm. Arch Dis Child. 2021 May 25:archdischild-2021-321668. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2021-321668. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34035035.

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.

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