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McKinlay C.J.D.,University of Auckland | Cutfield W.S.,University of Auckland | Battin M.R.,Newborn Services | Dalziel S.R.,Starship Childrens Health | And 3 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Treatment of women at risk for preterm birth with repeat doses of glucocorticoids reduces neonatal morbidity but could have adverse long-term effects on cardiometabolic health in offspring. We assessed whether exposure to repeat antenatal betamethasone increased risk factors for later cardiometabolic disease in children whose mothers participated in the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Repeat Doses of Corticosteroids. METHODS: Women were randomized to betamethasone or placebo treatment, ≥7 days after an initial course of glucocorticoids, repeated each week that they remained at risk for preterm birth at <32 weeks' gestation. In this follow-up study, children were assessed at 6 to 8 years' corrected age for body composition, insulin sensitivity, ambulatory blood pressure, and renal function. RESULTS: Of 320 eligible childhood survivors, 258 were studied (81%; 123 repeat betamethasone group; 135 placebo [single course] group). Children exposed to repeat antenatal betamethasone and those exposed to placebo had similar total fat mass (geometric mean ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78 to 1.23), minimal model insulin sensitivity (geometric mean ratio 0.89, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.08), 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (mean difference systolic 0 mm Hg, 95% CI -2 to 2; diastolic 0 mm Hg, 95% CI -1 to 1), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (mean difference 1.2 mL/min/1.73m2, 95% CI 23.2 to 5.6). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to repeat doses of antenatal betamethasone compared with a single course of glucocorticoids does not increase risk factors for cardiometabolic disease at early school age. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics Source

Battin M.R.,Newborn Services | Obolonkin V.,Auckland University of Technology | Rush E.,Auckland University of Technology | Hague W.,University of Adelaide | And 2 more authors.
BMC Pediatrics | Year: 2015

Background: Offspring born following maternal gestational diabetes are at risk of excessive childhood weight gain and Type 2 diabetes in childhood, which in turn is associated with an increased rate of hypertension. Methods: The offspring of women who had gestational diabetes and had been assigned to either open treatment with metformin (with supplemental insulin if required) or insulin in the MiG trial were followed up at 2 years of age. Oscillometric measurement of BP in the right arm was performed by a researcher using an appropriately sized cuff. Results: A total of 489 measurement blood pressure measurements were obtained in 170 of the 222 children who were seen at a median (range) age of 29 (22-38) months corrected gestational age. At the time of assessment the mean (SD) weight and height was 13.8(2) kg and 90 (4.2) cm respectively. For the whole group the mean (SD) systolic pressure was 90.9 (9.9) mmHg and mean (SD) diastolic pressure was 55.7 (8.1) mmHg. No difference was found between the metformin and insulin treatment arms. In a regression model, height and weight were only two factors associated with the levels of systolic blood pressure. For each additional kg the systolic blood pressure increased by 1.0 mmHg. For each additional cm of height the systolic blood pressure increased by 0.42 mmHg. Conclusions: Blood pressure data was obtained at approximately two years of age in a substantial cohort of children whose mothers received treatment for GDM. These novel data compare favorably with published norms. Clinical Trials Registry: This study was registered under the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12605000311651). © 2015 Battin et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

Jacobs S.E.,Newborn Services | Jacobs S.E.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Tarnow-Mordi W.O.,Westmead Hospital | Tarnow-Mordi W.O.,University of Sydney
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2010

Peripartum asphyxia complicated by moderate or severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy is a devastating global health issue. A therapeutic 'window of opportunity' exists after resuscitation of the asphyxiated newborn and before the delayed phase of neuronal loss. Animal studies demonstrated that neuronal injury following hypoxia-ischaemia can be prevented or reduced by a mild reduction in brain temperature. Human infant pilot studies confirmed feasibility, without major adverse effects. Randomised trials and systematic reviews comprising term infants with moderate or severe encephalopathy and peripartum asphyxia have established the neuroprotective benefit of therapeutic hypothermia. Hypothermia reduces mortality or major disability to 18 months of age, as well as cerebral palsy, and neuromotor and cognitive delay. Importantly, mortality is reduced without any increase in major neurodevelopmental disability in survivors, and with only minor adverse effects. The evidence supports therapeutic hypothermia when used within strict protocols in tertiary centres to improve the outcome for term and near-term newborns with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Equally strict protocols in non-tertiary nurseries will enable earlier initiation of hypothermia under guidance of the regional neonatal intensive care unit and transport team. © 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians). Source

Brooks S.,University of Auckland | Rowley S.,Newborn Services | Broadbent E.,University of Auckland | Petrie K.J.,University of Auckland
Health Psychology | Year: 2012

Objective: Patients' views of illness are often thought to differ from those of medical staff, although this is rarely assessed. This study examined the correspondence between mothers' and clinicians' perceptions of the same high-risk newborns, as well as with an objective measure of illness severity. We also investigated how mothers' perceptions were related to reported stress. Methods: Mothers of 99 high-risk infants admitted to either a neonatal intensive care or neonatal high dependency unit, which offers specialized but not intensive care, completed illness perception ratings of their baby's condition as well as perceived stress 3 to 5 days following admission. At the same time, a standardized measure of neonatal illness severity was calculated and the baby's primary neonatologist completed illness perceptions ratings. Results: Unlike clinician ratings, mothers' illness perceptions were not significantly correlated with illness severity. Mothers generally rated babies in both units as sicker and having a more serious illness than did neonatologists. Whereas clinicians, compared with mothers, rated babies in intensive care as having an illness that would affect their life more and last for a longer time. Mothers rated medical treatment to be significantly more helpful than did clinicians, particularly for babies admitted to the high dependency unit. Mothers' stress was significantly associated with illness perceptions but unrelated to illness severity. Conclusions: Significant differences exist in the perceptions of illness severity, helpfulness of treatment, and the long-term effects of the baby's illness between parents and clinicians and this may lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations in communication. © 2012 American Psychological Association. Source

De Matteo R.,Monash University | Blasch N.,Monash University | Stokes V.,Monash University | Davis P.,Newborn Services | Harding R.,Monash University
Reproductive Sciences | Year: 2010

Our aim was to characterize an ovine model of preterm birth that allows analysis of the developmental effects of preterm birth in the absence of postnatal confounding factors. Preterm birth was induced at 131 days of gestation in 82 lambs; controls (n = 31) were born at term (145 days). Overall survival of preterm lambs was 60%; males had significantly lower survival than females (44% vs 76%); 94% of term lambs survived. Although the birth weight of preterm lambs was ĝ̂1/40.9 kg lower than in term lambs, the crown-to-rump and forelimb lengths were similar. At 9 weeks after term-equivalent age, there were no differences in body weight or dimensions between preterm and term lambs; when adjusted for body weight, the heart was 21% heavier in preterm than term lambs. We conclude that moderately preterm birth in sheep is characterized by a greater survival of female lambs than males and has significant effects on organ development. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

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