Health economic aspects of late preterm and early term birth
Despite an increasing body of knowledge on the adverse clinical sequelae associated with late preterm birth and early term birth, little is known about their economic consequences or the cost-effectiveness of interventions aimed at their prevention or alleviation of their effects. This review assesses the health economic evidence surrounding late preterm and early term birth. Evidence is gathered on hospital resource use associated with late preterm and early term birth, economic costs associated with late preterm and early term birth, and economic evaluations of prevention and treatment strategies. The article highlights the limited perspective and time horizon of most studies of economic costs in this area; the limited evidence surrounding health economic aspects of early term birth; the gaps in current knowledge; and it discusses directions for future research in this area, including the need for validated tools for measuring preference-based health-related quality-of-life outcomes in infants that will aid cost-effectiveness-based decision-making.