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Preterm infants show mortality risks as children, adults

Death rates in early adulthood higher than for people born at full term

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3:51pm, September 20, 2011

Infants born prematurely face a higher risk of dying in early adulthood than babies born at full term, researchers report. The higher mortality risk also shows up earlier in life, when the preterm babies are preschool age, scientists report in the Sept. 21 Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study is among the first to gauge the effects of preterm birth on mortality in a large population of adults, says Saroj Saigal, a neonatologist at McMaster University School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario, who wasn’t involved in the research. “This is an extremely important paper. It shows that prematurity has lifelong implications.”

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