Neonatal outcomes as per gestational age in late preterm births: a retrospective study

Ankur Gupta, Soujanya B. S., Kamath K. Madhava


Background: Late preterm infants (34 week to 36 week + 6 days of gestation) are physiologically immature and have limited compensatory responses to the extra-uterine environment. Aim of the study was to compare the incidence of neonatal complications of late preterm infants compared to those born at term gestation and admitted in neonatal intensive care unit in a tertiary care hospital in south India.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed late preterm deliveries reported in 24 months period. Late preterm were divided in 3 sub-groups according to gestational age at delivery: 34 week + 6 days, 35 week + 6 days, 36 week + 6 days of gestation. The incidence of major clinical complications was evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Z- test. All babies admitted from March 2014 to February 2016 were retrospectively studied.

Results: Among late preterm deliveries 53% were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Out of which 35% presented with neonatal jaundice, 27% Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and sepsis 18 % .The incidence of RDS, jaundice and sepsis was significantly higher at 34 0/6 and 35 0/6 weeks of gestation, compared to full-term infants. Finally, the incidence of jaundice and RDS results significantly higher in all the 3 subgroups of late preterm, in contrast to full term infants.

Conclusions: Results demonstrated an increased risk of morbidity in the late preterm period in contrast with term infants. Results also displayed that the gestational age at delivery of late preterm can influence the risk of adverse neonatal outcomes. 


Hypoglycemia, Late preterm, Neonatal jaundice, RDS, Sepsis

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