RECAP preterm

Research on European children and adults born preterm

Improving the health, development and quality of life of children and adults born very preterm or with a very low birth weight

RECAP logoRECAP preterm aims to bring together data from all cohort studies across Europe that follow the progress of very preterm or very low birth weight infants through childhood and into adulthood.

Although very preterm births (<32 weeks of gestation) constitute fewer than 2% of all births across Europe, 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. In addition to the increased risk for physical impairments, babies born the earliest are also at higher risks of psychological and social problems than infants born at term.

The RECAP preterm project aims to create a new data platform to facilitate the sharing of data from participating cohorts from across Europe. The cohort data will be harmonised to enable pooled data analyses and between cohort comparisons. The extensive data brought together in this study will give researchers the opportunity to:

  • Study rare outcomes that cannot be easily measured in individual studies
  • Quantify the effect of specific risk factors on outcomes such as physical and mental health, quality of life, education, employment and wealth
  • Assess how differences in care over time and across countries affect outcomes and quality of life for individuals born very preterm

The results of this research will feed into policy and practice to ensure that the best evidence-based practices are in operation in health, education and social care sectors across Europe.

RECAP preterm in TIMMS group

RECAP preterm is a collaboration between 20 institutions across Europe coordinated by Dutch research organisation TNO in the Netherlands. The TIMMS team is responsible for leading the data mapping and data harmonisation work package (WP 03).


  • Elizabeth Draper
  • Brad Manktelow
  • Samantha Johnson
  • Helen Collins
  • Deborah Bamber
  • Charlotte Powell

For more information, visit the RECAP preterm website at https://recap-preterm.eu/.

The European flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement number 733280.

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