Rehospitalization in the first 2 years of life in children born preterm

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Aim of the study is to investigate the frequency of and predictors for rehospitalization within the first 2 years of life among preterm infants.


All children born before 32 weeks of gestation in Northern Tyrol between January 2003 and July 2008 were prospectively enrolled. Data on rehospitalizations were obtained from hospital admission records. The association between candidate risk factors and readmission was analysed by means of logistic regression analysis.


In the first and second years of life, 151 and 93 of 377 children (40.1% and 24.7%), respectively, were readmitted to one of the hospitals in Northern Tyrol. The most common causes of rehospitalization were respiratory disorders, accounting for 42.1% and 47.4% of total readmissions in the first and second years of life. Chronic lung disease (CLD), male sex and smoking in pregnancy were risk conditions relevant to readmission in the first year of life, but only CLD in the second year.


Infants born before 32 weeks of gestation have a high risk of rehospitalization with respiratory illness significantly contributing to postdischarge morbidity. Neonatal intensive care should aim to further improve respiratory health in preterm infants, and adequate follow-up services must be offered.

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