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OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to describe the self-reported health status and health-related quality of life of British teenagers who are in mainstream schooling and were born before 29 weeks' gestational age compared with British teenagers who were born at term. METHODS. All surviving children who were born at <29 weeks' gestation in the former Northern Region of England in 1983 and in the former Oxford Region of England and in Scotland in 1984 were eligible. A comparison group of teenagers who were born at term were also recruited. Children's responses to the Health Utilities Index Mark III were compared. RESULTS. A total of 218 of the original 535 children who were born in the 3 regions during the study period were alive at 15 to 16 years of age. A complete Health Utilities Index Mark III record was available for 140 children in mainstream schools and for 108 control subjects. In 7 of the 8 attributes (vision, hearing, speech, emotion, pain, ambulation, and dexterity), there were no statistically significant differences in any functional impairment between the comparator groups. However, the preterm group did report a higher level of functional impairment in the cognition attribute (40.7% vs 25.0%). Although there was no difference in the median Health Utilities Index Mark III utility score between the 2 groups (0.93), there was a broader range of utility scores for the preterm group (0.07-1.0 vs 0.45-1.0 for the control group). CONCLUSIONS. Despite objective evidence that children and teenagers who were born preterm have poorer health on average than term-born control subjects, this is not reflected in their own ratings of their health status and health-related quality of life at 15 to 16 years of age. The reasons for these differences need to be further explored. Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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