Early School-Age Outcomes after exposure to repeat prenatal corticosteroids - a randomised controlled trial [ 2007 - 2010 ]

Also known as: Health in early school-age children after exposure to repeat prenatal corticosteroids - a randomised controlled trial

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Caroline Crowther (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Ross Haslam Prof Lex Doyle Prof Peter Anderson

Brief description AIMS OF THE RESEARCH We have recently concluded a large clinical trial in Australia and New Zealand of repeat dose of antenatal corticosteroids given to women who were likely to deliver their baby too early (before 34 weeks of pregnancy). We have been able to show that repeat doses of corticosteroids before birth significantly reduces the risk of the baby developing respiratory difficulties after birth from 41.4% to 32.8%. However, we are not sure if this potentially important improvement will translate into better outcomes for the children as they grow older and reach school-age. As there are many examples of treatments given around the time of birth that have been shown to have some short-term benefits, but substantial long-term harms, we must be as certain as we can be that any advance in one small area of health is not counterbalanced by disadvantages in other health areas. This is particularly important to find out for repeat antenatal corticosteroids given the earlier conflicting reports from non-randomised studies. We plan to assess the 1085 survivors from our earlier clinical trial of repeat dose of prenatal corticosteroids when they are of early school age. We will assess their movement and other important areas of their brain function, as well as their school progress, blood pressure, lung function and general health and growth. EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE RESEARCH If we find important improvements in health outcomes at school-age in children exposed to repeat corticosteroids, without any substantial couterbalancing adverse effects, repeat steroids will be recommended standard therapy in women who are likely to give birth to their baby very early. This will lead to a reduction in the burden of ill health.

Funding Amount $AUD 1,083,963.97

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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