PREMATURE babies are more likely to develop asthma at a young age than other children, although they will grow out of it later in life, a study has shown.
A team of Danish researchers came to their conclusion after analysing the birth and health details of 1.8 million people born in Denmark from 1980 to 2009, and comparing the degree of ill health of persons born before the 37th week of gestation with persons born after that week.
“The study confirms that those born prematurely are more likely to suffer asthmatic symptoms and lung conditions than other children. However, the good news is that they grow out of these conditions. We have looked at premature babies from birth and until the age of about 30, and we can see that the children do better and better. As adults they suffer no more lung conditions than others,” commented Dr Anne Louise de Barros Damgaard, Medical Doctor, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The results are likely to be of great importance when healthcare providers assess the health of premature babies as they go through their lives, not least because of the lack of knowledge and even myths that currently remain about their overall health. With more and more babies worldwide surviving premature birth, the news that premature babies are no more likely to suffer from lung conditions in adult life than those born full term will provide comfort to the growing number of parents of premature babies.
Prof Theis Lange, Associate Professor, Section of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, said: “There are a lot of half stories, myths even, about the health implications of prematurity, and they can be a source of worry for parents of premature babies. It is therefore good to know that as adults premature babies are no more susceptible to lung conditions than other people.”
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