Young adult outcomes following premature birth: A Western Australian experience

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Background: Childhood outcomes following preterm birth are widely published, however long-term adult outcomes are less well described. We aimed to determine the quality of life and burden of co-morbidities experienced by preterm-born young adults in Western Australia. Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted. Participants born at 23–33 weeks gestation cared for at King Edward Memorial Hospital during 1990 and 1991 were recruited from a historical birth cohort. Participants completed general, medical and reproductive health questionnaires. Results were compared with contemporaneous cohort data and/or population statistics. Results: Questionnaires were received from 73 young adults aged 28 to 30 years. The majority of respondents completed high school (94.5 %), were employed fulltime (74.0 %) and had close friends and family relationships. Almost all the participants considered their health to be good (94.0 %) and participated in light exercise (90.0 %). Increased hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, asthma, neuropsychiatric conditions and visual impairment were reported. Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) scoring identified increased mild anxiety. Increased consultation with healthcare workers and use of prescription medications were reported. Conclusion: The group of preterm-born adults surveyed reported a good quality of life, supportive interpersonal relationships and they provided significant contributions to society. They did report increased medical and psychological conditions than the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105920
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Human Development
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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