Oral or Poster Presentation
Concurrent Session 1C - DOHaD
Introduction: Between 25-45% of children born prematurely at 29-36 weeks’ gestational age (GA) have developmental delay that will first manifest as neuromotor delay. Identifying clinical factors that potentially predict neuromotor delay is important as most of these infants will not benefit from specialized monitoring in neonatal follow-up clinics. This study aimed to examine socioeconomic characteristics, perinatal factors and neurological status at term equivalent age (TEA) in relationship to the neuromotor exam at 3.5 months corrected age (CA) in preterm infants.
Methods: This prospective observational cohort study included 61 infants born between 29-36 (6/7) weeks’ GA admitted for >48h in the neonatal intensive care unit. At TEA, socioeconomic, perinatal and postpartum depression data were collected in addition to the performance of a neurological exam. At 3.5 months CA, neuromotor delay was defined by an abnormal score on both the Alberta Infant Motor Scale and the Neurosensory and Motor Development Assessment. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between socioeconomic, perinatal and neurological factors with neuromotor development.
Results: Mean GA and birth weight were 33.4±1.8 weeks and 1902±628 g, respectively; 33 were males. Neuromotor delay was observed in 19 (31%) infants. Table 1 shows factors that were associated with neuromotor delay. In a multivariate model, a higher maternal postpartum depression score (OR 1.19; 95% CI: 1.00-1.41) and emergency c-section (3.82; 0.98-14.88) remained significantly associated with the risk of neuromotor delay, but not breastfeeding (0.31; 0.08-1.19) nor GA (1.49; 0.93-2.37).
Conclusion: Emergency c-section, which may indicate foetal distress, and higher score on a postpartum depression scale were associated with neuromotor delay in infants born 29-36 weeks’ GA. These markers may allow to target infants at highest risk who would benefit from a specialized follow-up. A larger sample will allow to validate these results.