Rehospitalization Through Childhood and Adolescence: Association with Neonatal Morbidities in Infants of Very Low Birth Weight

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To evaluate the impact of major neonatal morbidities on the risks for rehospitalization in children and adolescents born of very low birth weight.

Study design

An observational study was performed on data of the Israel Neonatal Network linked together with the Maccabi Healthcare Services medical records. After discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit, 6385 infants of very low birth weight born from 1995 to 2012 were registered with Maccabi Healthcare Services and formed the study cohort. Multivariable negative binomial regression models were calculated to estimate the adjusted relative risk (aRR) and 95% CI for hospitalization.


Up to 18 years following discharge, 3956 infants were hospitalized at least once. The median age of follow-up was 10.7 years with total of follow-up of 67 454 patient years and 10 895 hospitalizations. The risks for rehospitalization were increased significantly for each of the neonatal morbidities: surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), aRR 2.71 (95% CI 2.08–3.53), intraventricular hemorrhage grades 3–4, 2.13 (1.85–2.46), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), 1.83 (1.58–2.13), bronchopulmonary dysplasia, 1.94 (1.72–2.17), and retinopathy of prematurity stages 3–4, 1.59 (1.36–1.85). During the first 4 years, children with surgically treated NEC, intraventricular hemorrhage, PVL, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia had 1.5- to 2.5-fold greater risks for hospitalization compared with those without the specific morbidity. In the 11th-14th and 15th-18th years, respectively, surgically treated NEC was associated with a 3.05 (1.32–7.04) and 3.26 (0.99–10.7) aRR for hospitalization, and PVL was associated with a 2.67 (1.79–3.97) and 3.47 (2.03–5.92) aRR for hospitalization.


Specific major neonatal morbidities as well as the number of morbidities were associated with excess risks of rehospitalization through childhood and adolescence.

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