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ResearchHealth SciencesCommunity and Occupational Medicine
University Medical Center Groningen

Influence of socioeconomic inequalities on health, development and behavioral problems of children born moderately preterm

Researcher: M.R. Potijk
Project leaders:
Research period: 2010-2015
Financier: JSM


Children born premature are at greater risk for neonatal morbidity and mortality than children born full-term. Furthermore, their risk on long-term developmental and health problems is greater. By far the greater part of children born premature is born between a gestational age of 32 and 36 weeks (moderately preterm). Moreover, the highest increase of the preterm birth rate was due to the rising number of moderate preterm children.

Possibly, the socioeconomic status (SES) of parents has an important role in the risk of children born moderately preterm for long-term health, developmental and behavioral problems. The influence of the SES on health inequalities is partly explained, but still a lot is unknown. In the ‘social push’ hypothesis is stated that a certain genetic component manifests itself stronger in individuals with a low SES, while in the ‘vulnerability’ hypothesis is stated that there is a genetic predisposition for psychopathology that causes a greater vulnerability for lower socioeconomic standards.

The purpose of this doctoral thesis is to investigate the influence of the parental SES on health differences in children born moderately preterm. A secondary purpose is to investigate whether a prediction model could be set up to prevent long-term health, developmental and behavioral problems in children born moderately preterm.

Last modified:25 February 2015 3.56 p.m.
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