Facts & Figures - a quick look

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Globally preterm birth accounts for over 9.5% of all births.  This means that over 13 million babies are born too soon every year.


90% of Preemies survive

Thirty years ago less than 25% of the tiniest preemies were surviving, now almost 90% survive.  Learning about preterm birth can help increase awareness of the unique needs of preemies and their families.

Here you can find out about General Statistics and Preemie Outcomes. Make sure to have a look...

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Motor & Sensory problems

Preterm infants are at greater risk for major neurosensory impairments such as cerebral palsy (CP), deafness, blindness, and severe intellectual impairment than infants born at term.

The smallest and most immature infants are consistently reported to be at greatest risk. The figure below shows an estimation of the rates of neurosensory impairment in infants born extremely low birth weight (i.e. < 1,000 g) versus approximate values for infants born at term.

{Doyle, 2005 #48;Inder, 2003 #90;Vohr, 2000 #62;Vohr, 2005 #373;Volpe, 1983 #821;Volpe, 1989 #823}

Prevalence of Cerebral Palsy

  • 1 in 400 babies is diagnosed with CP
  • Babies most at risk of CP are those born preterm or with low birth weights
  • The rate of CP for very low birth weight babies is approximately 72 per 1000
  • For babies born 2500 g (5 ½ pounds) or more the approximate rate is 1.2 per 1000
  • For preemies born between 24 to 26 weeks gestation is approximately 20%
  • For preemies born at 32 weeks’ gestation is approx 4%
  • Almost 17 million people around the world have cerebral palsy
(SCPE), S. o. C. P. i. E. (2002). Prevalence and characteristics of children with cerebral palsy in Europe. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 44(9), 633-640.
Ancel, P.-Y., Livinec, F., Larroque, B., Marret, S., Arnaud, C., Pierrat, V., et al. (2006). Cerebral palsy among very preterm children in relation to gestational age and neonatal ultrasound abnormalities: the EPIPAGE cohort study. Pediatrics, 117(3), 828-835.

Cerebral Palsy in Australia

  • It is estimated that approximately 34,000 Australians have CP
  • 600 to 700 infants are diagnosed with CP in Australia each year
  • In 2007, the financial cost of CP was $1.47 billion (0.14% of GDP)
  • Equates to $43,431 per person with CP per annum
(ref: Access Economics)

Cerebral Palsy in the United States

  • It is estimated that approximately 500,000 people in the US have CP
  • Almost 5,000 infants are diagnosed with CP in the United States each year

Cerebral Palsy in the United Kingdom

  • It is estimated that approximately 1,800 infants are diagnosed with CP in the UK each year
(SCPE), S. o. C. P. i. E. (2002). Prevalence and characteristics of children with cerebral palsy in Europe. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 44(9), 633-640)



AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 

Read More: Defining Preterm birth



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