Alternate child care, history of hospitalization, and preschool child behavior.
BACKGROUND: With more single mothers entering the workforce due to welfare reform efforts, more hospitalized children from single-parent families will have experienced alternate child care arrangements where routine care is provided by adults other than the child's mother. OBJECTIVES: To investigate with secondary analysis of data whether experience with alternate child care has a moderating effect on the relationship between hospitalization and behavior of preschool children living in female-headed single-parent families. METHOD: A sample of 60 preterm and 61 full-term children who were 3, 4, or 5 years old was recruited for the larger longitudinal study. Behavior problems were measured with the Child Behavior Checklist. History of hospitalization and alternate child care arrangements were measured with the Life History Calendar. RESULTS: Preschool children who experienced hospitalization without alternate child care experience had more somatic complaints, but those with both hospital and alternate child care experience had fewer aggressive behaviors than other children. For children with a history of hospitalization, aggressive behaviors decreased as the proportion of the child's life in alternate child care increased. CONCLUSIONS: Experience with alternate child care may ameliorate some of the negative effects of hospitalization, and potentially other novel and negative experiences, for preschool children. This could be due to child care providing positive experiences with separation from the mother, a peer group with which to talk about the novel experience, or actual instruction about the novel experience. (+info
Effect of the interval between pregnancies on perinatal outcomes.
BACKGROUND: A short interval between pregnancies has been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. Whether that association is due to confounding by other risk factors, such as maternal age, socioeconomic status, and reproductive history, is unknown. METHODS: We evaluated the interpregnancy interval in relation to low birth weight, preterm birth, and small size for gestational age by analyzing data from the birth certificates of 173,205 singleton infants born alive to multiparous mothers in Utah from 1989 to 1996. RESULTS: Infants conceived 18 to 23 months after a previous live birth had the lowest risks of adverse perinatal outcomes; shorter and longer interpregnancy intervals were associated with higher risks. These associations persisted when the data were stratified according to and controlled for 16 biologic, sociodemographic, and behavioral risk factors. As compared with infants conceived 18 to 23 months after a live birth, infants conceived less than 6 months after a live birth had odds ratios of 1.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 1.6) for low birth weight, 1.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 1.5) for preterm birth, and 1.3 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 1.4) for small size for gestational age; infants conceived 120 months or more after a live birth had odds ratios of 2.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.7 to 2.4);1.5 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 1.7), and 1.8 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.6 to 2.0) for these three adverse outcomes, respectively, when we controlled for all 16 risk factors with logistic regression. CONCLUSIONS: The optimal interpregnancy interval for preventing adverse perinatal outcomes is 18 to 23 months. (+info
The biological clock of very premature primate infants is responsive to light.
Each year more than 250,000 infants in the United States are exposed to artificial lighting in hospital nurseries with little consideration given to environmental lighting cycles. Essential in determining whether environmental lighting cycles need to be considered in hospital nurseries is identifying when the infant's endogenous circadian clock becomes responsive to light. Using a non-human primate model of the developing human, we examined when the circadian clock, located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), becomes responsive to light. Preterm infant baboons of different ages were exposed to light (5,000 lux) at night, and then changes in SCN metabolic activity and gene expression were assessed. After exposure to bright light at night, robust increases in SCN metabolic activity and gene expression were seen at ages that were equivalent to human infants at 24 weeks after conception. These data provide direct evidence that the biological clock of very premature primate infants is responsive to light. (+info
Leucine metabolism in preterm infants receiving parenteral nutrition with medium-chain compared with long-chain triacylglycerol emulsions.
BACKGROUND: Although medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) may be utilized more efficiently than long-chain triacylglycerols (LCTs), their effect on protein metabolism remains controversial. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to compare the effects of mixed MCT-LCT and pure LCT emulsions on leucine metabolism in preterm infants. DESIGN: Fourteen preterm [gestational age: 30+/-1 wk; birth weight: 1409+/-78 g (x +/- SE)] neonates were randomly assigned to receive, from the first day of life, either a 50:50 MCT-LCT (mixed MCT group; n = 7) or an LCT (LCT group; n = 7) lipid emulsion as part of an isonitrogenous, isoenergetic total parenteral nutrition program. On the fourth day, infants received intravenous feeding providing 3 g lipid, 15 g glucose, and 3 g amino acids kg(-1) x d(-1) and underwent 1) indirect calorimetry and 2) a primed, 2-h infusion of H13CO3Na to assess the recovery of 13C in breath, immediately followed by 3) a 3-h infusion of L-[1-13C]leucine. RESULTS: The respiratory quotient tended to be slightly but not significantly higher in the mixed MCT than in the LCT group (0.96+/-0.06 compared with 0.93+/-0.03). We did not detect a significant difference between the mixed MCT and LCT groups with regard to release of leucine from protein breakdown (B; 309+/-40 compared with 257+/-46 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)) and nonoxidative leucine disposal (NOLD; 296+/-36 compared with 285+/-49 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)). In contrast, leucine oxidation was greater in the mixed MCT than in the LCT group (113+/-10 compared with 67+/-10 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1); P = 0.007). Net leucine balance (NOLD - B) was less positive in the mixed MCT than in the LCT group (-14+/-9 compared with 28+/-10 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1); P = 0.011). CONCLUSION: Mixed MCTs may not be as effective as LCT-containing emulsions in promoting protein accretion in parenterally fed preterm neonates. (+info
Hyaline membrane disease, alkali, and intraventricular haemorrhage.
The relation between intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and hyaline membrane disease (HMD) was studied in singletons that came to necropsy at Hammersmith Hospital over the years 1966-73. The incidence of IVH in singleton live births was 3-22/1000 and of HMD 4-44/1000. Although the high figures were partily due to the large number of low birthweight infants born at this hospital, the incidence of IVH in babies weighing 1001-1500 g was three times as great as that reported in the 1658 British Perinatal Mortality Survey. Most IVH deaths were in babies with HMD, but the higher frequency of IVH was not associated with any prolongation of survival time of babies who died with HMD as compared with the 1958 survey. IVH was seen frequently at gestations of up to 36 weeks in babies with HMD but was rare above 30 weeks' gestation in babies without HMD. This indicated that factors associated with HMD must cause most cases of IVH seen at gestations above 30 weeks. Comparison of clinical details in infants with HMD who died with or without IVH (at gestations of 30-37 weeks) showed no significant differences between the groups other than a high incidence of fits and greater use of alkali therapy in the babies with IVH. During the 12 hours when most alkali therapy was given, babies dying with IVD received a mean total alkali dosage of 10-21 mmol/kg and those dying without IVH 6-34 mmol/kg (P less than 0-001). There was no difference in severity of hypoxia or of metabolic acidosis between the 2 groups. Babies who died with HMD and germinal layer haemorrhage (GLH) without IVH had received significantly more alkali than those who died with HMD alone, whereas survivors of severe respiratory distress syndrome had received lower alkali doses than other groups. It is suggested that the greatly increased death rate from IVH in babies with HMD indicates some alteration of management of HMD (since 1958) as a causative factor. Liberal use of hypertonic alkali solutions is the common factor which distinguishes babies dying with GLH and IVH from other groups of babies with HMD. Although the causal nature of this association remains unproved, it seems justifiable to lrge caution in alkali usage. (+info
Early inhaled glucocorticoid therapy to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
BACKGROUND: The safety and efficacy of inhaled glucocorticoid therapy for asthma stimulated its use in infants to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We tested the hypothesis that early therapy with inhaled glucocorticoids would decrease the frequency of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, multicenter trial of inhaled beclomethasone or placebo in 253 infants, 3 to 14 days old, born before 33 weeks of gestation and weighing 1250 g or less at birth, who required ventilation therapy. Beclomethasone was delivered in a decreasing dosage, from 40 to 5 microg per kilogram of body weight per day, for four weeks. The primary outcome measure was bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 28 days of age. Secondary outcomes included bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks of postmenstrual age, the need for systemic glucocorticoid therapy, the need for bronchodilator therapy, the duration of respiratory support, and death. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-three infants received beclomethasone, and 130 received placebo. The frequency of bronchopulmonary dysplasia was similar in the two groups: 43 percent in the beclomethasone group and 45 percent in the placebo group at 28 days of age, and 18 percent in the beclomethasone group and 20 percent in the placebo group at 36 weeks of postmenstrual age. At 28 days of age, fewer infants in the beclomethasone group than in the placebo group were receiving systemic glucocorticoid therapy (relative risk, 0.6; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 1.0) and mechanical ventilation (relative risk, 0.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 1.0). CONCLUSIONS: Early beclomethasone therapy did not prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia but was associated with lower rates of use of systemic glucocorticoid therapy and mechanical ventilation. (+info
Randomised controlled trial of low dose fentanyl infusion in preterm infants with hyaline membrane disease.
AIM: To evaluate the effects of low dose fentanyl infusion analgesia on behavioural and neuroendocrine stress response and short term outcome in premature infants ventilated for hyaline membrane disease. METHODS: Twenty seven ventilated preterm infants were randomly assigned to receive a mean fentanyl infusion of 1.1 (0.08 SE) micrograms/kg/h for 75 (5) hours, and 28 untreated infants were considered a control group. A behavioural sedation score was used to assess the infants' behaviour. Urinary metanephrine and the normetanephrine:creatinine molar ratio were determined at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours. Outcome data and ventilatory indexes were recorded for each infant. RESULTS: The fentanyl group showed significantly lower behavioural stress scores and O2 desaturations than controls and lower urinary concentrations of metanephrine and normetanephrine at 24, 48, 72 hours. The two groups showed no significant difference in ventilatory variables or short term outcome. CONCLUSIONS: A short course of low dose fentanyl infusion reduces behavioural sedation scores, O2 desaturations and neuroendocrine stress response in preterm ventilated infants. (+info
Immunogenicity of hepatitis B vaccine in preterm infants.
AIM: To assess the immunogenicity of hepatitis B vaccine in preterm and term infants, given in a sequence of three doses beginning soon after birth. METHOD: The immunogenicity of hepatitis B vaccine was assessed in 176 preterm infants (< 35 weeks of gestation), immunised soon after birth, and compared with that in 46 term infants. Titres of hepatitis B antibodies were determined one to two months after the third vaccine. The significance of the differences between the term and preterm groups was determined using Student's t test. RESULTS: A similar proportion of infants in both preterm and term groups attained protective titres of hepatitis B antibodies (88.7% vs 93.4%, respectively; p = NS). However, the term infants had a higher geometric mean titre of antibodies after the third vaccine than did the preterm infants (701.2 (745.0) vs 469.1 (486.2) mU/ml, respectively; p < 0.03). CONCLUSION: Hepatitis B vaccine is effective in most preterm infants when given soon after birth. It may be advisable to determine the immune response at 12-24 months of age to booster the non-responders. (+info