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We sought to determine the economic costs associated with moderate and late preterm birth.An economic study was nested within a prospective cohort study.Infants born between 32(+0) and 36(+6)  weeks of gestation in the East Midlands of England. A sample of infants born at ≥37 weeks of gestation acted as controls.Data on resource use, estimated from a National Health Service (NHS) and personal social services perspective, and separately from a societal perspective, were collected between birth and 24 months corrected age (or death), and valued in pounds sterling, at 2010-11 prices. Descriptive statistics and multivariable analyses were used to estimate the relationship between gestational age at birth and economic costs.Cumulative resource use and economic costs over the first two years of life.Of all eligible births, 1146 (83%) preterm and 1258 (79%) term infants were recruited. Mean (standard error) total societal costs from birth to 24 months were £12 037 (£1114) and £5823 (£1232) for children born moderately preterm (32(+0) -33(+6)  weeks of gestation) and late preterm (34(+0) -36(+6)  weeks of gestation), respectively, compared with £2056 (£132) for children born at term. The mean societal cost difference between moderate and late preterm and term infants was £4657 (bootstrap 95% confidence interval, 95% CI £2513-6803; P < 0.001). Multivariable regressions revealed that, after controlling for clinical and sociodemographic characteristics, moderate and late preterm birth increased societal costs by £7583 (£874) and £1963 (£337), respectively, compared with birth at full term.Moderate and late preterm birth is associated with significantly increased economic costs over the first 2 years of life. Our economic estimates can be used to inform budgetary and service planning by clinical decision-makers, and economic evaluations of interventions aimed at preventing moderate and late preterm birth or alleviating its adverse consequences.Moderate and late preterm birth is associated with increased economic costs over the first 2 years of life.

Original publication




Journal article


BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology

Publication Date





1495 - 1505


University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.


Humans, Premature Birth, Length of Stay, Case-Control Studies, Prospective Studies, Gestational Age, Pregnancy, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Family Leave, Community Health Services, Child Health Services, Drug Costs, Hospital Costs, England, Female