CAD.20.014 – The impact of preterm birth; Restoring the future of preterm born children and their families

Route: Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education

Cluster question: 059 How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

Preterm birth is an enormous societal problem with detrimental short- and long-term effects for both the child and family. Stress during neonatal life is associated with neurological, behavioral and cardiovascular disease later in life. Parents of preterm born infants are at increased risk for depression(15-45%), posttraumatic stress disorder(20-38%), relationship distress(25%) and disturbed parent-child interaction.
With the improvement of perinatal care more children survive preterm birth with associated morbidity, resulting in a large societal problem with enormous healthcare costs (Euro 160.000.000,- in 2017). Optimal preventive and therapeutic strategies are largely unknown. With this project we recognize the negative impact of preterm birth and set out to develop an interventional national program to improve child and adolescent development (NWA-cluster-059).
Our already established national consortium successfully started to collect data on stress in a multicenter cohort of preterm born children and their parents (HIPPO-2020-2021). Next, we will conduct follow-up to study psychosocial and psychological outcomes for the children and their families together with (epigenetic) biomarkers and neurological, hemodynamic, pulmonary, endocrine outcome. Further data on the longer perspective will be obtained from additional available national cohorts of preterm born children that were born from 2010 onwards (EPIDAF-2010-2011). Analysis of those well-defined cohorts combined with translational stress studies will provide knowledge on the key impact factors that complicate the future of preterm born children and their family. Subsequently, preventive and therapeutic interventions such as analgesic therapies and structural early psychosocial support will be developed by our national expert group. These programs will be directly implemented in a new cohort of preterm born children (HIPPO-2) to prevent impaired outcome. Next, this program will be evaluated -and if proven successful- implemented as standard of care. In this way we will not only gain knowledge, but will directly protect the next generation of vulnerable children and their families.


Development, Preterm birth, Prevention, Stress

Other organisations

AUMC-Emma Children's Hospital, Isala clinics, KLIK, Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC), Maxima MC, MUMC+, Radboud Medical Center (RUMC), UMCG, Veerkrachtige ouders, VOC, WKZ


Organisation Erasmus MC (EMC)-Sophia Children's Hospital
Name Dr. S.H.P. (Sinno) Simons