A structured review of the recent literature on the economic consequences of preterm birth
Although survival rates for preterm infants have greatly improved over the last three to four decades, these infants remain at risk of developing a broad range of short-term and long-term complications. Despite the large body of work on the clinical sequelae of preterm birth, relatively little is known about its economic consequences. This paper represents a structured review of the recent scientific literature on the economic consequences of preterm birth for the health services, for other sectors of the economy, for families and carers and, more broadly, for society. A total of 2497 studies were identified by a pretested literature search strategy, 52 of which were included in the final review. Of these 52 studies, 19 reported the costs associated with the initial period of hospitalisation, 35 reported costs incurred following the initial hospital discharge (without providing costs for the entire remaining period of childhood), four of which also reported costs associated with the initial period of hospitalisation, while two reported costs incurred throughout childhood. The paper highlights the variable methodological quality of this body of literature. The results of the studies included in the review are summarised and critically appraised. The paper also highlights gaps in our current knowledge of the topic and identifies requirements for further research in this area.
Available from: Carolien Roos
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ABSTRACT: The APOSTEL-II trial was a multicenter randomized placebo-controlled trial, assessing the effectiveness of maintenance tocolysis with nifedipine. The trial showed maintenance tocolysis not to have an effect on perinatal outcome. Objective of the current study is to evaluate the effect of a negative trial on the length of hospital admission of women with threatened preterm labor.
We evaluated length of hospital admission of all patients admitted with threatened preterm labor with a gestational age <32 weeks in 8 perinatal centers that participated in the APOSTEL-II trial. We studied only the first admission with threatened preterm labor, readmissions were excluded. We distinguished between the period before, the period during and the period after the trial. In a subgroup analysis, we differentiated for the group of women who delivered and for the group of women who did not deliver during the initial admission.
The mean length of hospital admission was 9.3 days before the start of the trial, 8.4 days during the recruitment period and 8.1 days after the trial was completed. The difference in mean length of hospital admission before and during the recruitment period was significantly different (p<001).
The length of hospital admission of women with threatened preterm labor is found to be reduced during the recruitment period of the APOSTEL-II trial. This shows that the conduct of a randomized controlled trial itself has the potential to change daily practice.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Available from: Hannah Blencowe
- "These costs, in addition, are likely to rise as premature babies increasingly survive at earlier gestational ages in all regions. This survival also will result in the increased need for special education services and associated costs that will place an additional burden on affected families and the communities in which they live . An increased awareness of the long-term consequences of preterm birth (at all gestational ages) is required to fashion policies to support these survivors and their families as part of a more generalised improvement in quality of care for those with disabilities in any given country. "
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ABSTRACT: This second paper in the Born Too Soon supplement presents a review of the epidemiology of preterm birth, and its burden globally, including priorities for action to improve the data. Worldwide an estimated 11.1% of all livebirths in 2010 were born preterm (14.9 million babies born before 37 weeks of gestation), with preterm birth rates increasing in most countries with reliable trend data. Direct complications of preterm birth account for one million deaths each year, and preterm birth is a risk factor in over 50% of all neonatal deaths. In addition, preterm birth can result in a range of long-term complications in survivors, with the frequency and severity of adverse outcomes rising with decreasing gestational age and decreasing quality of care. The economic costs of preterm birth are large in terms of immediate neonatal intensive care, ongoing long-term complex health needs, as well as lost economic productivity. Preterm birth is a syndrome with a variety of causes and underlying factors usually divided into spontaneous and provider-initiated preterm births. Consistent recording of all pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirths, and standard application of preterm definitions is important in all settings to advance both the understanding and the monitoring of trends. Context specific innovative solutions to prevent preterm birth and hence reduce preterm birth rates all around the world are urgently needed. Strengthened data systems are required to adequately track trends in preterm birth rates and program effectiveness. These efforts must be coupled with action now to implement improved antenatal, obstetric and newborn care to increase survival and reduce disability amongst those born too soon.
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of preterm birth in developed countries is increasing, and in some countries, including the United States, it is almost as high as in developing countries. Demographic changes in women becoming pregnant can account for only a relatively small proportion of the increase. A significant proportion of spontaneous preterm birth continues to be of unknown cause. Experimental data from animal studies suggesting that maternal undernutrition may play a role in spontaneous, noninfectious, preterm birth are supported by observational data in human populations, which support a role for maternal prepregnancy nutritional status in determining gestation length. In addition, intakes or lack of specific nutrients during pregnancy may influence gestation length and thus the risk of preterm birth. As yet, the role of paternal nutrition in contributing to gestation length is unexplored.
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