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Preterm Birth Tied to Lower Job Rate, Education in Adulthood

MONDAY, June 18, 2018 -- Preterm birth and/or low-birth weight (PT/LBW) infants have decreased educational qualifications and rates of employment in adulthood, according to a review published online June 6 in Pediatrics.

Ayten Bilgin, Ph.D., from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify prospective longitudinal and registry studies assessing selected wealth-related outcomes in PT/LBW-born adults versus term-born controls. The authors included 23 studies in their analysis.

The researchers found that PT/LBW was associated with decreased likelihood of higher education qualifications attainment (odds ratio, 0.74), a lower employment rate (odds ratio, 0.83), and an increased likelihood of receiving social benefits (odds ratio, 1.25). For education qualifications only, a dose-response relationship according to gestational age was seen. PT/LBW-born adults and adults born at term did not differ significantly regarding independent living.

"Although the magnitude of these associations was small in general, they were particularly strong in VPT- or VLBW-born adults for education qualifications and were consistent across geographic regions," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2018