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The European Commission has funded a programme of work that aims to improve the health, development and quality of life of children and adults born very preterm (VPT, less than 32 weeks of gestation) or very low birth weight (VLBW, less than 1500g birth weight).

VPT/VLBW births constitute fewer than 2% of all births across Europe, but they account for up to half of perinatal and infant deaths, children with impairments and disabilities and more than a third of the health and educational budgets for children.

This aim will be achieved by developing a sustainable, geographically diverse and multidisciplinary platform of national and European cohorts of VPT/VLBW, constituted over a 30-year time span, to optimise the use of population data for research and innovation in healthcare and health, social and education policy.

Novel methodologies and tools for data management and analysis are being developed to strengthen research on current and future VPT/VLBW cohorts. As part of this programme, we are conducting a series of economic studies that aim to assess the long-term economic outcomes associated with VPT/VLBW births.

Project leads:


Dieter Wolke, University of Warwick

Samantha Johnson, University of Leicester

Neil Marlow, University College London


August 2017 – December 2021


European Commission Horizon 2020