Due to a shortened period of in utero organ development, premature infants are at higher risk of chronic respiratory, cardiac, renal, and endocrine system disorders later in life. With more premature babies being born and more of them surviving, internists and primary care practitioners should be aware of their patient's birth history and of the potential long-term effects of prematurity. Such understanding can lead to early detection of disease and targeted lifestyle modifications.
- About 10% of live births are premature
- and rates are increasing
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