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Effects of Premature Birth May Stretch Into Adulthood: Study
Date:6/24/2011

esilient and have a strong will to succeed as they get older, the researchers found. And there are also certain "protective factors" that can help preemies overcome the negative issues associated with pre-term birth. Sullivan said that supportive parents and a nurturing school environment can mitigate the effects of premature birth.

The researchers concluded the ongoing monitoring of adults born prematurely is justified, and would also help scientists understand the impact of prematurity on adult health, particularly cardiopulmonary disease.

"These findings are important for parents, nurses in the neo-natal intensive care units, teachers and staff in the schools, disability services offices in colleges and primary care providers," Sullivan said. "By identifying the issues pre-term babies face in childhood, adolescence and through adulthood, we can all be better prepared to take steps to mitigate their effects."

The study's findings were slated for presentation in September at the 27th Congress meeting of the European Group of Pediatric Work Physiology in Exeter, England.

Because this study is to be presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on the complications of prematurity.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Rhode Island, news release, June 15, 2011


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