- Infants born at early-term pregnancy appear to have increased risk for epilepsy, childhood death and needing disability support vs those born at 39 or 40 weeks gestation.
- Infants born at late-term pregnancy also appear to have increased risk of developing epilepsy as they grow, and higher risk of needing disability support.
Why this matters
- Findings could guide women and care givers in making decisions regarding timing of induction of labour.
- Enhanced surveillance to these women could help minimise potential impacts.
- Total of 1,030,168 infants born in Sweden between 1983 and 1993 to mothers aged between 20 and 35 years at the time of delivery were evaluated.
- Infants born at 39-40 weeks of gestation formed the reference group; infants born at 37-38 and ≥41 weeks formed early- and late/post-term groups, respectively.
- Primary outcome: diagnosis of epilepsy before 20 years of age in infants born ≥7 days after the infants’ due date.
- Funding: North Bristol NHS Trust Springboard Fund.
- 25.6% infants were born at 41 weeks gestation or later, while 20.2% were born at 37/38 weeks.
- Early-term infants had higher risk for epilepsy (aOR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.11-1.29), child death (aOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.30-1.55) and disability pension (aOR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.16-1.24) vs reference group.
- Late-term infants had higher risk for epilepsy (aOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.06-1.22) and disability pension (aOR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01-1.08), but evidence for increased risk for child death (P=.093) was insufficient.
- Use of routinely collected data.
- Presence of missing data points.