AIM: This study aimed to evaluate the respiratory morbidity of preterm infants in the first two years after discharge in three cohorts from 1996 to 2009.
METHODS: We included infants with a gestational age from 25 + 0 to 29 + 6 weeks, who were born in 1996-1997, 2003-2004 and 2008-2009 at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The following parameters were recorded: bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), defined as oxygen demand or positive pressure at 36 weeks, mortality, duration of supplemental oxygen, discharge with supplemental oxygen and a nasogastric feeding tube, rehospitalisation and the use of inhaled medication.
RESULTS: In line with our protocols, 106, 120 and 156 infants were analysed in the three study periods and 29%, 22% and 18% were diagnosed with BPD. Respiratory morbidity did not change over time in infants with and without BPD, except for an increase in rehospitalisation for respiratory issues in infants with BPD. This decreased in infants without BPD. Respiratory morbidity occurred more frequently in infants with BPD than without BPD, but this was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that when cohorts of preterm infants were compared over time, respiratory morbidity in the first two years of life remained an important consequence after discharge.