Functional outcomes of very premature infants into adulthood
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The outcomes of very low birth weight survivors born in the early post-neonatal intensive care era have now been reported to young adulthood in several longitudinal cohort studies, and more recently from large Scandinavian national databases. The latter reports corroborate the findings that despite disabilities, a significant majority of very low birth weight survivors are leading productive lives, and are functioning better than expected. This is reassuring, but there are still concerns about future psychopathology, cardiovascular and metabolic problems as they approach middle age. Although these findings may not be directly applicable to the current survivors of modern neonatal intensive care, they do provide a yardstick by which to project the outcomes of future survivors until more contemporaneous data are available.
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