|August 2010 · Vol. 22, No. 08
Another reason to postpone
delivery until 37 weeks
A study confirms: Late preterm births are associated with an increased risk of respiratory illness
Senior Editor, OBG Management
AUGUST 2010—An analysis of more than 200,000 deliveries finds that babies born between 34 weeks and 37 weeks are more likely to have severe respiratory illness than those born at term, and that this risk decreases with each added week of gestational age during the late preterm period. The report of the study was published in the July 28 issue of JAMA.
Late preterm birth (34 0/7 to 36 6/7 weeks’ gestation) accounts for 9.1% of all deliveries and 75% of all preterm births in the United States. Considerable evidence has shown that short-term illnesses are prevalent; however, much of the supporting data for that evidence is more than a decade old or drawn from small populations, according to background information in the article.