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New research could help thousands of NZ babies born prematurely

A new study could help thousands of Kiwi families get a better understanding of what the future holds for premature babies. 

Researchers from the University of Otago are using a vast database of information to track what happens to the children in later life. 

Using information from Statistics New Zealand's database researchers are tracking every pre-term baby born from 1992 onwards and comparing them to full-term births. 

Looking closely at health, education, employment and social data, they hope to get a good picture of what happens as they grow up. 

Just under ten per cent of all babies born in New Zealand every year are premature. 

Paediatrics specialist Max Berry says the research will be hugely beneficial in helping them to know what happens to premature babies once they leave the hospital. 

He says they "may have certain challenges ahead of them, but if we understand those challenges and look them face on, we can do things to help and support before there is a big problem."

University of Otago researchers are using a vast databse of information to track what happens to the children later in life. Source: 1 NEWS