In spite of the advances in neonatal care of preterm children in the last two decades, preterm birth (< 38 weeks of gestation) and low birth weight (< 2,500g) have remained significant causes of inequality in Europe. While the incidence rates and survival after preterm birth have increased over the last thirty years, the rates of disadvantaged life outcomes across the lifespan among preterm born and low birth weight children and adults remain. Compared with their term born peers, children and adults born prematurely or small for their gestational age do more poorly in education, have less favourable employment and wealth outcomes, less often find a partner and have children of their own, struggle more often with different health issues, and report lower subjective quality of life.
PremLife aims to deepen our knowledge on factors that foster adaptation among preterm and low birth weight children across the lifespan and contribute to achieving better life outcomes in this population. The project particularly focuses on individual factors such as specific educational skills, micro-system factors including parental socio-economic status, quality of parenting, and peer relations, as well as macro-system factors concerning the differences in educational and welfare systems and income inequalities across the participating countries (United Kingdom, Germany, and Finland).
PremLife is funded by the NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe) transnational research programme on “Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes” (DIAL; http://dynamicsofinequality.org)