Those born prematurely have greater health risks as adults, new study shows

Medical examinationPhoto: Lise Åserud / NTB

A large study among 6.3 million adults under the age of 50 has revealed that people born prematurely have an increased risk of dying from chronic diseases.

The study, which was conducted in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, is led by Professor Kari Risnes at NTNU in Trondheim. 

The study revealed that people who were prematurely born have twice as high a risk of dying from heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes as adults as the rest of the population, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

A complete pregnancy is 40 weeks. A child born before week 37 is considered prematurely born. 

The study shows that the general risk of death for people under the age of 50 is two in 1,000. For prematurely born infants, the risk is 40% higher. 


However, the survey shows that even people born just two to three weeks before the term have a slightly increased health risk, by about 10% compared to the rest of the population.

About 6% of children in Norway are born before the term.

“We already know that prematurely born babies have increased mortality in childhood and early adulthood. We have now proven higher risk of death from chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes before the age of 50,” Risnes said.

She believes that the factor that someone is born prematurely must be included in doctors’ preventive work with patients.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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