June 30, 2016
Bliss responds to claims babies born premature face reduced life chances
Research indicating that children born prematurely are more likely to face reduced life chances and wellbeing in later life has recently received national UK newspaper coverage.
In quoting research led by Dr Saroj Saigal at McMaster University in Canada, this coverage has claimed that, as adults, babies born prematurely at low birth weights are more likely to be paid less, be single, have less confidence and are less likely to have children of their own than their normal birthweight-term counterparts.
These headlines have drawn on the Canadian research team's comparison of 100 extremely low birthweight adults aged between 29 and 36 with 89 people who were all of the same ages but born at a healthy weight.
Bliss Chief Executive Caroline Davey says: "We must remember that babies born premature are not all the same and develop in different ways, and that this study draws on a very small sample born outside the UK and at a time when neonatal care was very different from today. There have been considerable medical advances in the care of premature babies in the 30 to 40 years since those in this study were born."