Premature birth is generally considered to have an effect on health at a later stage of life. Further affirming this aspect, professionals from the University of Leicester have disclosed that infants born even a few weeks early could face ill health in the future.

As part of the trial, 18,000 infants were analyzed and followed till they attained 9 months, 3 and 5 years of age. All factors like their height, weight and BMI were evaluated. Parents and guardians were also included in the analysis who reported their kids’ GP visits, illnesses, prescribed drugs and so on. All these variables denoted the overall health of the children in the study.

Dr Elaine Boyle, of the University of Leicester, asserted, “More work in this area is needed to explain why this effect occurs. It is likely that factors other than simply immaturity are involved.”

As compared to full-term babies, pre-term babies seemed to be hospitalized more often within the first few months. Babies born between 33 and 36 weeks of pregnancy appeared to be at greater risk for wheezing and asthma, relative to their full term counterparts. An apparent link between reduced gestation and elevated risk of ill health came forward.

Essentially, increasing prematurity seemed to be associated with poor health outcomes in the analysis. However, the team believed that the aforesaid effects need to be validated in a bigger study. The study is published in the March 1 issue of the British Medical Journal.