Effect of preterm birth on later FEV1: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sarah Joanne Kotecha, Martin O Edwards, W. John Watkins, A John Henderson, Shantini Paranjothy, Frank D. Dunstan, Sailesh Kotecha* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Background Increasing evidence suggests that preterm birth affects later lung function. We systematically reviewed the literature to determine whether percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (%FEV1) is lower in later life in preterm-born subjects, with or without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), compared with term-born controls. Methods: Studies reporting %FEV1, with or without a term-born control group, in later life for preterm-born subjects (<37 weeks gestation) were extracted from eight databases. Data were analysed using Review Manager and STATA. The quality of the studies was assessed. Results: From 8839 titles, 1124 full articles were screened and 59 were included: 28 studied preterm-born children without BPD, 24 with BPD28 (supplemental oxygen dependency at 28 days), 15 with BPD36 (supplemental oxygen dependency 36 weeks postmenstrual age) and 34 born preterm. For the preterm-born group without BPD and for the BPD28 and BPD36 groups the mean differences (and 95% CIs) for %FEV1 compared with term-born controls were −7.2% (−8.7% to −5.6%), −16.2% (−19.9% to −12.4%) and −18.9% (−21.1% to −16.7%), respectively. Pooling all data on preterm-born subjects whether or not there was a control group gave a pooled %FEV1 estimate of 91.0% (88.8% to 93.1%) for the pretermborn cohort without BPD, 83.7% (80.2% to 87.2%) for BPD28 and 79.1% (76.9% to 81.3%) for BPD36. Interestingly, %FEV1 for BPD28 has improved over the years. Conclusions: %FEV1 is decreased in preterm-born survivors, even those who do not develop BPD. %FEV1 of survivors of BPD28 has improved over recent years. Long-term respiratory follow-up of preterm-born survivors is required as they may be at risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-766
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Early online date20 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2013


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