"Gestational age at the time of delivery continues to be an important predictor of a live birth, survival until discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit, and survival until one year of age," he said.
Because the study was executed as an observational study, it did not look into ways to prevent preterm birth or improve neonatal outcomes, Cole said.
Parents need "personalized prognostic tools, both to inform decision-making about neonatal outcomes and to prevent extremely preterm birth," he said.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on preterm labor and birth.
SOURCES: Karel Marsal, M.D., Ph.D., professor, obstetrics and gynecology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; F. Sessions Cole III, M.D., director, division of newborn medicine, and head, neonatal intensive care unit, St. Louis Children's Hospital; June 3, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association