Background and aims Compared to in-hospital births, the long-term outcome of children born out-of-hospital, planned or unplanned, is poorly studied. This study aimed to examine mortality and morbidity by seven years of age in children born out-of-hospital compared to those born in-hospital. Methods This study was registered retrospectively and included 790 136 children born in Finland between 1996 and 2013. The study population was divided into three groups according to birth site: in-hospital (n = 788 622), planned out-of-hospital (n = 176), and unplanned out-of-hospital (n = 1338). Data regarding deaths, hospital visits, reimbursement of medical expenses, and disability allowances was collected up to seven years of age or by the year-end of 2018. The association between birth site and childhood morbidity was determined using multivariable-adjusted Cox hazard regression analysis. Results No deaths were reported during the first seven years after birth in the children born out-of-hospital. The percentage of children with hospital visits due to infection by seven years of age was lower in those born planned out-of-hospital and in the combined planned out-of-hospital and unplanned out-of-hospital group compared to those born in-hospital. Furthermore, the percentage of children with hospital visits and who received disability allowances due to neurological or mental disorders was higher among those born unplanned out-of-hospital and out-of-hospital in total when compared to those born in-hospital. In the multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, the hazard ratio for hospital visits due to asthma and/or allergic diseases (HR 0.84; 95% CI 0.72–0.98) was lower in children born out-of-hospital when compared to those born in-hospital. A similar decreased risk was found due to infections (HR 0.76; 95% CI 0.68–0.84). However, the risk for neurological or mental health disorders was similar between the children born in-hospital and out-of-hospital. Conclusions Morbidity related to asthma or allergic diseases and infections by seven years of age appeared to be lower in children born out-of-hospital. Birth out-of-hospital seemed to not be associated with increased risk for neurological morbidity nor early childhood mortality. Our study groups were small and heterogeneous and because of this the results need to be interpreted with caution.
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
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