Late preterm infants have an increased risk of morbidity relative to term infants. We sought to determine the rate, temporal trend, risk factors, and reasons for 30-day readmission.
This is a retrospective cohort study of infants born at 34 to 42 weeks’ gestation in California between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2017. Birth certificates maintained by California Vital Statistics were linked to discharge records maintained by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify risk factors and derive a predictive model.
Late preterm infants represented 4.3% (n = 122 014) of the study cohort (n = 2 824 963), of which 5.9% (n = 7243) were readmitted within 30 days. Compared to term infants, late preterm infants had greater odds of readmission (odds ratio [OR]: 2.34 [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.28–2.40]). The temporal trend indicated increases in all-cause and jaundice-specific readmission infants (P < .001). The common diagnoses at readmission were jaundice (58.9%), infections (10.8%), and respiratory complications (3.5%). In the adjusted model, factors that were associated with greater odds of readmission included assisted vaginal birth, maternal age ≥34 years, diabetes, chorioamnionitis, and primiparity. The model had predictive ability of 60% (c-statistic 0.603 [95% CI: 0.596–0.610]) in late preterm infants who had <5 days length of stay at birth.
The findings contribute important information on what factors increase or decrease the risk of readmission. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine promising hospital predischarge and follow-up care practices.
Published June 2022