We thank our correspondent for her positive feedback. The individual prognosis has always been a balancing act for the consulted pediatricians between an overoptimistic and an overly pessimistic prediction, with what is heard sometimes differing from what is said. Still, awareness of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) has increased markedly in recent years (1, 2) and the improved data today allow for much more objective information than the necessarily subjective assessments in the past. This is also true for the neuropsychiatric long-term sequelae of various influencing factors during gestation, as mentioned by our colleague—even if the pregnancy went to term (3). The challenge will be to put the new insights into practice in a way that benefits those affected—without succumbing to the “need for causality”. Here, adults born preterm are a target group that will become increasingly relevant in the near future (4).
On behalf of the authors
Prof. Dr. med. Dominique Singer
Sektion Neonatologie und Pädiatrische Intensivmedizin
Conflict of interest statement
Prof. Singer received research funding from Drägerwerk AG and speaker’s fees from Chiesi GmbH.
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|2.||Simeoni U, Armengaud JB, Siddeek B, Tolsa JF: Perinatal origins of adult disease. Neonatology 2018; 113: 393–9 CrossRef MEDLINE|
|3.||Al-Haddad BJS, Oler E, Armistead B, et al: The fetal origins of mental illness. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2019; 221: 549–62 CrossRef MEDLINE MEDLINE|
|4.||Singer D, Thiede LP, Perez A: Adults born preterm: long-term health risks of former very low birth weight infants. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021; 118: 521–7 VOLLTEXT|