University of Oulu

Rachel Robinson, Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen, Daniel Schnitzlein, Falk Voit, Polina Girchenko, Dieter Wolke, Sakari Lemola, Eero Kajantie, Kati Heinonen, Katri Räikkönen, Mental health outcomes of adults born very preterm or with very low birth weight: A systematic review, Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, Volume 25, Issue 3, 2020, 101113, ISSN 1744-165X,

Mental health outcomes of adults born very preterm or with very low birth weight : a systematic review

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Author: Robinson, Rachel1; Lahti-Pulkkinen, Marius1,2,3; Schnitzlein, Daniel4,5,6;
Organizations: 1Department of Psychology & Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
3University/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
4Leibniz University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany
5DIW Berlin, Berlin, Germany
6IZA Bonn, Bonn, Germany
7Mental Health and Wellbeing, Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
8Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
9Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany
10PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu Finland
11Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
12Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-04-28


Preterm birth research is poised to explore the mental health of adults born very preterm(VP; <32⁺⁰ weeks gestational age) and/or very low birth weight(VLBW; <1500g) through individual participant data meta-analyses, but first the previous evidence needs to be understood. We systematically reviewed and assessed the quality of the evidence from VP/VLBW studies with mental health symptoms or disorders appearing in adulthood, excluding childhood onset disorders. Participants (≥18 years, born >1970) included VP/VLBW individuals with controls born at term(≥37⁺⁰ weeks) or with normal birth weight(NBW; ≥2500g). Thirteen studies were included. Studies consistently showed an increased risk for psychotropic medication use for VP/VLBW adults in comparison to NBW/term controls, but whether VP/VLBW adults have an increased risk for mental health disorders or symptoms appearing in adulthood remains uncertain. The quality of the evidence was moderate (65.8%) to high (34.2%). Further research in larger samples is needed.

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Series: Seminars in fetal and neonatal medicine
ISSN: 1744-165X
ISSN-E: 1878-0946
ISSN-L: 1744-165X
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Article number: 101113
DOI: 10.1016/j.siny.2020.101113
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733280 for RECAP. The PremLife project is financially supported by the NORFACE Joint Research Programme on Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course, which is co-funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 724363 (Warwick University No. 462.16.100 and the University of Helsinki No 462.16.101). Funding also comes from the Academy of Finland (No 315690, 323910, 1284859, 12848591, 1312670, 1324596) and the Grant JUG 14 by the Federal Government of. Germany Ministry of Science and Technology (BMBF).
Copyright information: © 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license