Summary

The spectrum of neurodevelopmental disabilities and functional outcomes in children, adolescents, and young adults born preterm is wide. Likewise, the prevalences of neurodevelop-mental disabilities and neurosensory impairments in people born preterm are quite variable. This is not surprising, in light of the multiple etiologies and complications of preterm birth, the variability of both the intrauterine and the extrauterine environments to which they are exposed, and the infinite genetic variations of humans.

Finding 11-2: There is tremendous variation in the outcomes reported for individuals born preterm. Much of this variation is due to a lack of uniformity in study sample selection criteria, the study methodologies used, the age of evaluation, and the measurement tools and cutoffs used.

Finding 11-3: Few long-term studies of adolescents and adults born preterm have been conducted. Good indicators of the functional development of the central nervous system of preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units are lacking, and predictors of long-term neurodevelopmental and health outcomes are inadequate.

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