Late And Moderate preterm Birth Study

Babies born late and moderate preterm (between 32 and 36 weeks of gestation) represent approximately 6 to 7% of all births in the UK and 75% of all preterm births.

The LAMBS Study is a population-based prospective study of late and moderate preterm birth. The study ran from September 2009 until December 2010 and is the first study of its kind in the world. Approximately 1000 babies born at 32-36 weeks of gestation have been enrolled in the study, together with approximately 1000 babies born at more than 37 weeks. We will follow these babies up until they are at least 2 years of age.

Previously, it was thought that babies born at this gestational age do not differ significantly from babies born at full term. Many babies do very well, but recent research suggests that these infants may be at higher risk of poor growth, neuropsychological, educational and behavioural outcomes. Some of these adverse outcomes may be related to potentially modifiable antenatal and perinatal factors.

In this study, we aim to identify perinatal and neonatal risk factors contributing to preterm delivery in infants born in the Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire area and provide current information about the short and long-term outcomes of infants born at this preterm gestation.

We hope to highlight areas in which changes in perinatal and neonatal care may improve babies' outcomes and aim to provide information to guide allocation of resources for the provision of ongoing health and educational support for children and young adults with problems.


  • Clarify the relative contributions of infection, deprivation, maternal lifestyle and obstetric intervention to late and moderate preterm birth
  • Inform the development of guidelines for the management of complicated pregnancies at 32 to 36 weeks' gestation
  • Quantify early morbidity and mortality associated with late and moderate prematurity, compared with that of control term infants born at 37 weeks' gestation or more
  • Identify perinatal or neonatal interventions with the potential to improve neonatal outcomes at hospital discharge and reduce infant mortality among infants born at 32 to 36 weeks' gestation
  • Evaluate health care needs and use of health care resources in infants born at 32 to 36 weeks' gestation
  • Determine the health economic impact of moderate and late prematurity, in order to inform and guide planning and configuration of children's services

Research population

This research work is being carried out at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK and the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.


This research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, UK and is sponsored by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK.


Laura Berry, Elaine Boyle, Elizabeth Draper, Julie Faulkes, David Field, Janice Findlay, Ian Gallimore, Janet Hood, Samantha Johnson, Kursoom (Kay) Khan, Carol Liptrot, Bradley Manktelow, Carol McCormick, Neil Marlow, Penny McParland, Dianne Meecham, Frances Mielewczyk, Peter Perry, Stavros Petrou, Emma Savage, Sarah Seaton, Lucy Smith, Yvonne Toomassi


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