Neonatal outcomes and long-term neurodevelopmental evaluations of hospitalized early term infants: prospective case-control study

Yangin E. E., Kivilcim, M., Colak, R., Dasci, Y., Ozdemir, S. A., Calkavur, S. | JNPM 2023;

Abstract: BACKGROUNDS: It was intended to compare early term babies to term babies by reviewing short-term issues and long-term neurodevelopmental evaluations. METHODS: It was planned as a prospective case-control study. Of the 4263 infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, 109 infants born at early term by elective cesarean section and hospitalized within the first 10 postnatal days were included in the study. As the control group, 109 babies born at term were enrolled. Nutrition status of infants, reasons for hospitalization in the first postnatal week were recorded. When the babies were 18-24 months old, an appointment was made for neurodevelopmental evaluation. RESULTS: In the early term group, the time of breastfeeding was later than the control group, with a statistically significant difference. Similarly, breastfeeding difficulty, need for formula in the first week postpartum and hospitalization were found to be significantly higher in the early term group. Considering the short-term results; pathological weight loss, hyperbilirubinemia requiring phototherapy and feeding difficulties were statistically significantly higher in the early term group. Neurodevelopmental delay did not statistically differ across the groups, but the early term group’s MDI and PDI scores were found to be statistically lower than those of the term group. CONCLUSION: Early term infants are thought to be like term infants in many ways. Although these babies are similar to term babies, they are still physiologically immature. The short and long-term negative consequences of early term birth are obvious, non-medical elective early term births should be prevented.

*Corresponding Author: 

E. Yangin Ergon, MD; T.C. Ministry of Health Izmir Provincial Health Directorate H.S.U. Dr. Behçet Uz Children’s Education and Research Hospital, Clinic of Neonatology, Izmir, Turkey. Tel.: +90 5333485645; E-mail: