Very low birth weight (VLBW) and very low gestational age (VLGA) infants

Background: Very low gestational age (below 32 weeks of gestation) and very low birth weight infants (birth weigth below 1501g) represent one of the biggest challenges for neonatal and perinatal care. Although the VLBW and VLGA infants account for 0.4 to 1.5% of newborn infants in Europe, they significantly affect the neonatal and infant mortality rates and they more likely suffer from long-term morbidities. As was argued in the Finnish PERFECT study, not only clinical developments in perinatal and neonatal care but also organizational factors could enhance healthy outcomes and increase the survival rate.

Aim: To develop a protocol for international comparison of outcomes and resources used in treating VLBWI patients, to perform the comparison, and to describe and explore reasons for differences in performance.

Data: Routine data on hospital discharge registers, birth registers, mortality registers and other relevant available national registers.

Output: Reports and scientific articles describing the protocols, methods, indicators as well as variations between and within European countries and exploring the reasons behind the performance differences between countries, regions and providers.


► Numerato D, Fattore G, Tediosi F, Zanini R, Peltola M, Heijink R, Toksvig Klitkou S, Mihalicza P, Sveréus S, Lehtonen L, Banks H, Fletcher E, on behalf of the EuroHOPE study group. Mortality and Length of Stay of Very Low Birth Weight and Very Preterm Infants: A EuroHOPE Study. PLoS One. 2015; 10(6): e0131685.

EuroHOPE VLBW: Material, Methods and Indicators [pdf]

► Fattore G, Numerato D, Peltola M, Banks H, Graziani R, Heijnk R, Over E, Klitkou ST, Fletcher E, Mihalicza P, Sverèus S. 2015. Variation and determinants of mortality and length of stay of very low birth weight and very low for gestational age infants in 7 European Countries. Health Economics 24 (Suppl. 2): 65-87.

[Dec. 4th 2015]