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Objective. To investigate differences by gestational age in emergency department visits and re-hospitalizations during the three years following childbirth discharge. Methods. We performed a historical cohort study in Lazio Region, Italy, for infants born in 2007-2008 to resident mothers. Health administrative data were used. Analysis was performed by multinomial logistic regression. Results. Of 90 545 infants, more than 50% had at least one emergency department visit, and 18.8% at least one re-hospitalization. After the exclusion of infants with congenital anomalies, relative risk ratios of re-hospitalization and, to a lesser extent, of emergency department visits increased by decreasing gestational age; the two events were also higher for mothers <= 35 years of age, with low education and of Italian nationality. Residency outside the metropolitan area was associated with an increased risk of re-hospitalization and a decreased risk of emergency department visits. Conclusion. During the three years following childbirth discharge, re-hospitalizations and, to a lesser extent, emergency department use are inversely related to gestational age at birth; socio-demographic factors have an effect on the risk of infant use of hospital resources independent of gestational age.

Original publication




Journal article


Annali Dell Istituto Superiore Di Sanita

Publication Date





543 - 549


child care gestational age preterm birth patient readmissions emergency service hospital emergency-department visits preterm birth economic consequences children born term infants life care rehospitalization immigrants outcomes