With improved neonatal intensive care, more children born before 26 weeks’ gestation (extremely preterm [EP]) survive to adulthood. What is the pulmonary status of these patients?

A total of 123 19-year-olds born EP. A total of 64 age and sex matched subjects born at term served as controls.

Subjects were interviewed regarding health status. Spirometry (with bronchodilator) and a standardized incremental shuttle walk test were performed. These studies were also compared with those done on the same participants when they were 11 years of age.

Compared with the control group, the EP group was significantly impaired on all spirometric parameters. The difference in mean postbronchodilator forced vital capacity z score between EP and control subjects was −0.64 SD (95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.94 to −0.35), equivalent to 470 mL, and the mean difference in forced expiratory volume in 1 second z scores was −1.08 SD (95% CI: −1.40 to −0.77),...

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