Preterm delivery and low birth weight – a dire legacy

Maureen Hack, Irwin R. Merkatz

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The poor performance of the United States in the international ranking of infant mortality rates is mainly due to high rates of premature birth and associated low birth weight, which have changed little during the past 50 years and may recently even have increased.1 Besides its impact on infant mortality, low birth weight is associated with increased childhood morbidity, including that from respiratory illnesses, impaired postnatal growth, and neurodevelopmental problems. Although these complications increase in frequency with decreasing birth weight, even children at the upper end of the low-birth-weight range who require no intensive care have poorer outcomes than children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1774
Number of pages3
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 28 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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