Birth before 34 weeks linked to midlife COPD risk

Prematurity may interrupt normal lung development, setting individuals up for reduced function by middle age, Australian researchers say

Moderately preterm birth is associated with a significantly increased risk of COPD and lung function deficits well into the sixth decade of life, a landmark study shows.

The detrimental effect of prematurity is further compounded by smoking, the researchers say in calling for more targeted health education and interventions for these high-risk individuals.

Although preterm birth has already been linked to reduced lung function in patients in their early 30s, the University of Melbourne