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 Premature birth linked to worse mental health

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Belinda Ongaro



Number of posts : 32
Registration date : 2012-02-02

PostSubject: Premature birth linked to worse mental health   Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:03 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18289197
Statistics show 1 in 13 babies are born before 36 weeks (full term is 40 weeks). According to researchers premature birth is linked to an increased risk of developing mental health problems later in life including bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, and depression. However, access to modern technology has improved care available for premature babies, so the risk for births in the last four decades has been substantially reduced. A study in Sweden collected data regarding 1.3 million born in Sweden between the years 1973 and 1985. Of 10,523 people admitted to hospital with psychiatric disorders, 580 had been born prematurely. The risk of developing mental disorders for 36 week-babies was double that of full-term babies, and triple for 32 week-babies, and so forth as babies arrived earlier. The accuracy of these statistics has also been brought into question because mild disorders would not require hospitalization and thus would go unaccounted for in the data. The article attempts to reassure parents by stating that the majority of premature babies are born perfectly healthy, with improvements seen as a result of advancements in clinical practice, though monitoring is still encouraged. Modern neonatal practice has increased the viability of premature births, and will hopefully find a means of eliminating the link between premature birth and mental disorders.
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Ashley Bacchus



Number of posts : 64
Registration date : 2011-02-06

PostSubject: Re: Premature birth linked to worse mental health   Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Itís unfortunate that premature babies are more at risk for mental disorders, especially since you canít really stop a baby from being born early. Even though the risk isnít that much higher, itís still there. They say that parents shouldnít be worried, but I guess itís good for the parents to be aware that there is a risk because then they can monitor them for any signs of the disorders. The article also states that early birth can effect brain development, so hopefully scientists will continue making developments that will help to limit neurological damage. Some of those advancements include cooling the brain to reduce any damage as well as improvements in ventilation to ensure enough oxygen is getting to brain. So if scientists can make more developments like those, then maybe it will reduce the risk of mental disorders in premature babies.
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