Antenatal prediction of neonatal mortality in very premature infants

Anita C.J. Ravelli*, Jelle M. Schaaf, Ben Willem J. Mol, Pieter Tamminga, Martine Eskes, Joris A.M. Van Der Post, Ameen Abu-Hanna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To develop a prognostic model for antenatal prediction of neonatal mortality in infants threatening to be born very preterm (<32 weeks). Study design Nationwide cohort study in The Netherlands between 1999 and 2007. We studied 8500 singletons born between 25 +0 and 31 +6 weeks of gestation where fetus was alive at birth without congenital anomalies. We developed a multiple logistic regression model to estimate the risk of neonatal mortality within 28 days after birth, based on characteristics that are known before birth. We used bootstrapping techniques for internal validation. Discrimination (AUC), accuracy (Brier score) and calibration (graph, c-statistics) were used to assess the model's predictive performance. Results Neonatal mortality occurred in 766 (90 per 1000) live births. The final model consisted of seven variables. Predictors were low gestational age, no antental corticosteroids, male gender, maternal age ≥35 years, Caucasian ethnicity, non-cephalic presentation and non-3rd level of hospital. The predicted probabilities ranged from 0.003 to 0.697 (IQR 0.02-0.11). The model had an AUC of 0.83, the Brier score was 0.065. The calibration graph showed good calibration, and the test for the Hosmer Lemeshow c-statistic showed no lack of fit (p = 0.43). Conclusions Neonatal mortality can be predicted for very preterm births based on the antenatal factors gestational age, antental corticosteroids, fetal gender, maternal age, ethnicity, presentation and level of hospital. This model can be helpful in antenatal counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Antepartum risk assessment
  • Ethnicity
  • Level of hospital
  • Neonatal mortality
  • Prediction model
  • Very preterm birth


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