21 Dec Less Time in the Womb Linked to Less Education and Income in Adulthood
MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Josephine Funck Bilsteen, MSc
Department of Pediatrics, Hvidovre University Hospital, Hvidovre,
Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health
University of Copenhagen
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The background of this study is that there is increasing recognition of the longer-term health and social outcomes associated with preterm birth such as independent living, quality of life, self-perception and socioeconomic achievements. However, much less is known about differences in education and income among adults born at different gestational weeks in the term period.
In this study shorter gestational duration, even within the term range, was associated with lower chances of having a high personal income and having completed a secondary or tertiary education at age 28 years. This is the first study to show that adults born at 37 and 38 completed weeks of gestation had slightly lower chances of having a high income and educational level than adults born at 40 completed weeks of gestation.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: While adults born at 35 to 38 weeks of gestation experienced only slightly lower chances of high income and high educational level, this may have a significant impact, since a large proportion of all children are born in these weeks.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future studies should investigate the mechanisms linking duration of pregnancy to educational and income levels in adulthood.
Bilsteen JF, Taylor-Robinson D, Børch K, Strandberg-Larsen K, Nybo Andersen A. Gestational Age and Socioeconomic Achievements in Young Adulthood: A Danish Population-Based Study. JAMA Netw Open.2018;1(8):e186085. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6085
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