Effects of Late Preterm Birth on the Incidence of Developmental Delays among Children at 3 Years of Age: A Matched-Pair Case-Control Study


Purpose: To investigate the relationship between preterm delivery and developmental outcomes in children born at 34 - 36 weeks of gestation (late preterm period). Methods: This study reviewed the cases of singleton late preterm children and full-term (38 - 40 weeks of gestation) children born at Showa University Hospital. The developmental outcomes at 3 years of age were assessed based on the results of questionnaires sent to the families by mail. In addition, the incidence of developmental delays was compared between the late preterm and full-term children. In the full-term control group, perinatal characteristics (neonatal gender, Apgar score, Cesarean delivery, birth weight < 10th percentile, birth weight < 3rd percentile) were matched with those of the late preterm cases. We compared categorical variables using Fisher’s exact test. For variables with a non-normal distribution, Welch’s t-test was applied. A p-value of <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: The rate of return of the questionnaires was 25.9% (121) among the cases and 25.8% (163) among the controls. The frequency of developmental delays was 6.6% among the cases, compared with 4.3% among the controls. Conclusions: Matching the perinatal characteristics of the subjects, the frequency of developmental delays was similar between the two groups.

Share and Cite:

Oba, T. , Hasegawa, J. , Otsuki, K. , Itabashi, K. , Okai, T. and Sekizawa, A. (2015) Effects of Late Preterm Birth on the Incidence of Developmental Delays among Children at 3 Years of Age: A Matched-Pair Case-Control Study. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 203-207. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.54029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Petrini, J.R., Dias, T., McCormick, M.C., Massolo, M.L., Green, N.S. and Escobar, G.J. (2009) Increased Risk of Adverse Neurological Development for Late Preterm Infants. The Journal of Pediatrics, 154, 169-176.e3.
[2] Chyi, L.J., Lee, H.C., Hintz, S.R., Gould, J.B. and Sutcliffe, T.L. (2008) School Outcomes of Late Preterm Infants: Special Needs and Challenges for Infants Born at 32 to 36 Weeks Gestation. The Journal of Pediatrics, 153, 25-31.
[3] Morse, S.B., Zheng, H., Tang, Y.W. and Roth, J. (2009) Early School-Age Outcomes of Late Preterm Infants. Pediatrics, 123, e622-e629.
[4] Kapellou, O., Counsell, S.J., Kennea, N., Dyet, L., Saeed, N., Stark, J., et al. (2006) Abnormal Cortical Development after Premature Birth Shown by Altered Allometric Scaling of Brain Growth. PLoS Medicine, 3, e265.
[5] Guihard-Costa, A.M. and Larroche, J.C. (1990) Differential Growth between the Fetal Brain and Its Infratentorial Part. Early Human Development, 23, 27-40.
[6] Lundgren, E.M. and Tuvemo, T. (2008) Effects of Being Born Small for Gestational Age on Long-Term Intellectual Performance. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 22, 477-488.
[7] Bergvall, N., Iliadou, A., Johansson, S., Tuvemo, T. and Cnattingius, S. (2006) Risks for Low Intellectual Performance Related to Being Born Small for Gestational Age Are Modified by Gestational Age. Pediatrics, 117, e460-e467.
[8] Stuart, A., Otterblad Olausson, P. and K?llen, K. (2011) Apgar Score at 5 min after Birth in Relation to School Performance at 16 Years of Age. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 118, 201-208.
[9] Moster, D., Lie, R.T. and Markstad, T. (2002) Joint Association of Apgar Scores and Early Neonatal Symptoms with Minor Disability at School Age. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 86, F16-F21.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.