Published: 2021-04-27

A prospective study comparing the morbidities of late preterm and term infants in the neonatal period in a tertiary care hospital

Sirajuddin Nazeer, Sivagurunathan Panchanathan, Karthikeyan Soundararajan


Background: In obstetric practice, 34 completed weeks is considered as maturational milestone for the fetus. Despite relatively large size and apparent functional maturity, late preterm infants are at increased risk for neonatal morbidity compared with full term infants. Aim of the study was to study the incidence of late preterm births in a tertiary care hospital in Trichy, Tamil Nadu and to study the pattern of neonatal morbidities in late preterm infants and to compare it with term infants.

Methods: Hospital based prospective study was conducted from April 2019 to March 2020. Total 470 late preterm infants were included in our study. All infants enrolled in the study were followed up daily till discharge and after discharge, all infants were than reviewed at 15 and 28 days in a well-baby clinic.

Results: There were a total of 1941 live births during the study period. Of these, 470 (24.2%) were late preterm and 1263 (65%) were term births. Late preterm infants accounted for 71.1% of preterm birth. Late preterm infants were at significantly higher risk for overall morbidity due to any cause, respiratory 22.1%, neonatal jaundice 62%, sepsis 4%, hypoglycemia 8.9%, hospital readmission 8.1%. 63% of late preterm infants were readmitted for jaundice.

Conclusions: The incidence of late preterm birth was 24%. Late preterm infants had a higher incidence of jaundice, sepsis and respiratory morbidities. Late preterm infants had a longer hospital stay. They were also more likely to get readmitted in the hospital when compared to term infants.


Late preterm, Term, Incidence, Morbidity

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