Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Background: Approximately 15 million babies are born premature (before 37 weeks of gestation) and 1 million babies die due to prematurity complications every year. Less is known about risk factors of prematurity in middle and low-income countries. The prevalence of prematurity ranges from 5% - 18%.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of premature births and to assess the rate of survival, along with the morbidity, among preterm newborns. Furthermore, to document our experience with different gestational age groups of preterm births; and to analyze the association among these strata and their clinical outcomes.
Study Design: A descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: The Aga Khan Maternal and Childcare Centre Hyderabad, Pakistan, from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2018.
Methodology: All pregnant women registered at the obstetric clinic before 24 weeks of gestation having at least three subsequent visits at the same clinic were included in the study. The women who were lost to follow up before completing three visits were excluded from the study. All un-booked women were also excluded from the study. Demographic profile was recorded including maternal age, parity, no of visits at the clinic, gestational age, mode of delivery, birth weight and pregnancy outcome. Newborns were subsequently followed at nursery or well-baby till discharge. Further subgroups were made for gestational age to assess the frequency of various morbidities in each group.
Results: One thousand and ninety-one (1091) women were included in the study period that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Two pregnancies were terminated before 24 weeks due to major congenital malformations. The prevalence of prematurity was recorded as 13.4% (146/1089). Perinatal mortality rate (no of stillbirths plus the number of early neonatal death/1000 live birth) was 17 (15.6/1000 live births) out of them, 12 were still births and 5 were early neonatal death. Out of the total preterm babies born, 59.5% (87/146) were admitted to the nursery. In the study group (2%/3146) were extreme preterm, while 7.5% were severe preterm (11/146). Moderate preterm was 11.6% (17/146) and the majority were late preterm accounting for 78.7% (115/146). Though the incidence of birth asphyxia were noted more in late preterm babies i.e. 10 as the number of these babies are also high in our study but the overall percentage was low (8.7%) as compared with the babies of extreme prematurity (100%) and moderate late prematurity (23.5%) respectively. In pregnancy outcome, 12 were still births in which six (50%) were in the late preterm group. Total of 17 newborns suffered from birth asphyxia in which ten newborns (58.8%) were in late preterm group. Overall, it was noted that the decreasing gestational age was directly correlated to morbidity and mortality.
Conclusion: Among the different strata, the late preterm group has been observed to be associated with greater morbidity and mortality. Prior awareness of the morbidities associated with late preterm babies is helpful for the health care providers to anticipate and manage potential complications in preterm infants.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Open Journal of Pediatrics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.