We are currently conducting a ‘feasibility’ study to see if adults who were born preterm and were enrolled in the Preterm Infant Follow-Up Study (PIFS) conducted in 1990-1992, are contactable and if they would be interested in participating in long term follow-up studies. The original study involved over 500 babies.
The PREDICT Study, completed in October 2012, is conducting a follow-up on the preterm children who were enrolled in the initial study and who are now 4-5 years old. The follow-up is focusing on determining the prevalence of allergies, strength of the immune system and vaccine response and assessing the incidence and severity of infectious diseases in these survivors of very preterm birth. Analysis of the results of this study is ongoing.
The Barwon Infant Study is a major birth cohort study being conducted in Victoria and led by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The study is investigating the role of specific environmental factors, gut microbiota and epigenetic variation in early-life development and subsequent immune, allergic, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurodevelopmental outcomes in a large cohort of infants from birth to age 4 years. While not specifically preterm infant research, some participants in this study were born preterm. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)