Adults Born Preterm: Epidemiology and Biological Basis for Poor Outcomes

August 13–14, 2015


Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB), Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD


5635 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland


Because of the welcome trend of increasing survivals rates for extremely low-gestational age newborn (ELGAN), typically defined as birth at 28 weeks of gestation or earlier, the cohort of young adults who were ELGAN has increased tremendously.

More importantly, they are facing significantly higher risks for a variety of diseases usually grouped in the category of “adult disorders.” These include higher risks for hypertension and cardiac failure, diabetes and altered insulin sensitivity, mental and intellectual dysfunctions, and renal and digestive disorders. Country-wide longitudinal cohorts from Norway, Sweden, and other European countries are starting to yield findings, however such data are lacking from cohorts in the United States.

Understanding the epidemiology of medical and psychosocial issues facing adults who were born preterm would provide insights into developmental origins of adult disorders and could reveal the pathophysiological basis for developmental underpinnings for adult disorders. This knowledge would also be important in re-evaluating current practices, including those of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Identify the epidemiology of disorders in adults who were born preterm.
  • Assess the methodological challenges and promises when studying longitudinal cohorts of preterm-born adults.
  • Examine the etiological bases for disorders in adults born preterm to inform today’s management of preterm infants and reduce future adverse outcomes.
  • Develop multi-institute/agency input into design and conduct of research in this evolving field.

More Information


Dr. Tonse Raju, PPB, DER, NICHD
Phone: 301-402-1872

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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