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July 20, 2005

Outcomes for Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants: Disappointing News

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston Medical School, Houston (Dr Tyson); and Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (Dr Saigal).

JAMA. 2005;294(3):371-373. doi:10.1001/jama.294.3.371

The long-term outcome for extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) infants—weighing less than 1000 g at birth—is of great interest to parents, the public, and a broad variety of professional groups, including educators, psychologists, health care planners, as well as obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatricians, and all other medical specialists involved in the care of these children. Studies of small premature infants born before the 1990s indicated that intensive perinatal care decreased their mortality without decreasing the proportion of survivors with disabilities. As a result, the absolute number of the survivors with disabilities increased.1