Objective: To determine patterns of survival for very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight 501 to 1500 g) neonates over 23 years. Study Design: Data for 4873 VLBW neonates born from 1977 to 2000 were divided into five epochs. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge. Birth weight-specific survival rates were estimated by race and gender for each epoch. Presence of comorbidities and congenital anomalies, delivery mode, and provision of artificial ventilation were investigated to determine whether they could explain observed survival patterns. Results: From 1977 to 1995, survival increased from 50.2% to 81.0% as the proportion of VLBW neonates receiving artificial ventilation rose from 59.0% to 80.9%. Survival was unchanged between 1990 to 1995 and 1996 to 2000. Black females maintained a survival advantage over the entire study period. Survival improved for neonates with congenital anomalies over time, but had little impact on race/gender survival patterns. Survival patterns also could not be explained by comorbidity status, delivery mode, or access to artificial ventilation. Conclusion: The survival advantage of VLBW black females persists and remains unexplained.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology