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Opportunities to Promote Primary Prevention of Post Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Respiratory Morbidity in the Premature Infant

  • Cindy T. McEvoyEmail author
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Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)

Abstract

It is increasingly recognized that any preterm delivery at <37 weeks gestation can result in altered lung development and adverse respiratory outcomes with potential long-term consequences and premature lung aging over time. Although the extremely preterm infant (<28 weeks,<1000 g) has received intense research focus due to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung development is a continuum, and late preterm infants (34°/7–36 6/7 weeks gestation) constitute the majority of all preterm deliveries. Because lung function tracks from infancy through early adulthood along percentiles established very early in life, the prevention of respiratory morbidity in preterm infants depends on perinatal and early life strategies to protect and maximize lung growth and development. Factors adversely affecting lung development can occur before pregnancy through early childhood. This chapter will provide an overview of preconceptual, prenatal, perinatal, and early postnatal factors known to be important in lung development and therefore critical to the prevention of respiratory morbidity in the premature infant, with particular emphasis on the late preterm infant. When available, evidence-based information for primary prevention and public health interventions targeting modifiable factors will be presented, and areas of future research will be summarized.

Keywords

Prematurity Late preterm Primary prevention Low birth weight Respiratory morbidity Pulmonary function Smoking cessation 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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