Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caffeine Use To Regulate Breathing Of Very Preterm Babies, Long-term Benefits

Date:
November 8, 2007
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Caffeine and similar drugs have been used for more than 30 years to make the breathing of very preterm babies more regular, but without sufficient knowledge of the possible benefits and risks. Caffeine has been found to reduce the rates of cerebral palsy and cognitive delay.

Very premature babies who were given caffeine to regulate their breathing have a significantly lower incidence of disabilities at the age of two years, according to an international study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Researchers studied more than 2000 premature babies who were either treated with caffeine or given a placebo. The latest results of this large clinical trial will appear in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Babies receiving the caffeine were less likely to develop cerebral palsy and cognitive delay.

Caffeine and similar drugs have been used for more than 30 years to make the breathing of very preterm babies more regular, but without sufficient knowledge of the possible benefits and risks.

The study involved infants who weighed between 500 and 1250 grams at birth, and who were at risk of apnea -- interrupted or irregular breathing due to immaturity. The ongoing study, with colleagues in Canada, Australia, the US, Europe and Israel, will continue to follow the children until they reach the age of five. The project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

According to Dr. Barbara Schmidt, the principal investigator of the research project, the latest results of the study showed that 46 percent of the infants receiving the placebo died or survived with a neurodevelopmental disability. Among the babies receiving caffeine therapy, only 40 percent had an unfavourable outcome by the time they reached the end of their second year of life.

"It definitely gives hope to parents," Dr. Schmidt concluded. "Of all the drugs we use in the neonatal intensive care unit, caffeine is the first to have been shown conclusively to reduce long-term disability in very preterm babies." Caffeine reduced the rates of cerebral palsy and cognitive delay but had no significant effect on the rates of death, bilateral blindness and severe hearing loss.

"This international study provides important follow-up to the earlier results reported by Dr. Schmidt and her colleagues and should have a major impact on the treatment and prevention of apnea in preterm infants," said Dr. Michael Kramer, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health.

The Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity (CAP) project enrolled 2006 premature infants who were born between October 1999 and October 2004 in nine countries. The research project was designed to address long-standing concerns about possible adverse effects of caffeine therapy in pre-term infants. All children will be re-assessed at five years to obtain more precise information on their development as they approach school age.

Apnea occurs in about 85 per cent of infants who are born at less than 34 weeks gestation. For more than 30 years, therapies known as methylxanthines, including caffeine, have been used to reduce the frequency of apnea and the need for mechanical ventilation. However, it has remained uncertain whether the use of methylxanthines has any additional benefits or risks in premature infants.

Earlier findings released last year by the same research team revealed that babies who received caffeine had a lower incidence of abnormal lung development than infants who were given a placebo.

Dr. Schmidt said that half of the beneficial treatment effect at two years of age was explained by the fact that babies receiving caffeine therapy came off ventilators sooner. "Ventilation is a double-edged sword," she said. "While it is life-saving, at the same time, it causes injury -- scarring the immature lung which is very susceptible to damage."

At McMaster, Dr. Schmidt is a part-time professor in the department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. She is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and will hold the inaugural Kristine Sandberg Knisely Chair in Neonatology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Caffeine Use To Regulate Breathing Of Very Preterm Babies, Long-term Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107170755.htm>.
McMaster University. (2007, November 8). Caffeine Use To Regulate Breathing Of Very Preterm Babies, Long-term Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107170755.htm
McMaster University. "Caffeine Use To Regulate Breathing Of Very Preterm Babies, Long-term Benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107170755.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins