Mortality and Hospitalizations of 24-Year-old Members of the Low-Birthweight Cohort in Northern Finland

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We followed 11,355 children born in 1966 up to the age of 24 years to investigate the impact of birth weight on long-term outcomes of death and development. As expected, low-birth weight (LBW, 1500–2,499 gm) children showed a higher risk of death than normal-birth weight (NBW, 2,500 gm) children before the age of 15 years. Rate ratios for LBW children ranged from 25 for the first week of life to 2.5 for ages 5–14 years. Rate ratios of very-low-birth weight (VLBW, <1,500 gm) children for the first year of life were 10 times higher than those of LBW children. Similarly, for the first 14 years of life, surviving LBW children experienced a higher risk of being hospitalized as well as staying in hospitals for over 2 weeks if they were hospitalized. The LBW children still had a higher risk of receiving sick pensions at the age of 24 years. (Epidemiology 1998; 9:662–665)

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