NTNU - Course of Life

NTNU - Course of Life

– Population-based research on vulnerable children and adolescents

Research activity



Research on Children and Adults born Preterm (RECAP)

Horizon 2020: Research on Children and Adults born Preterm (RECAP preterm)

The goal of RECAP preterm is to promote the health and welfare of children and adults born prematurely. The main goal of the project is to facilitate that follow-up study of premature births can be combined, compared and continued. In this way, the research results can be more reliable and hopefully have practical consequences for treatment and follow-up. An important part of the project is to make use of Nordic population-based registry data. We cooperate with the THL National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, Copenhagen University, Denmark and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden on this project: "Children and adults born prematurely. What can we learn from Nordic registries?".

Children and adults born prematurely - What can we learn from Nordic registries?

By combining national registry data from multiple countries, we will be able to investigate the consequences of premature birth in a population perspective, for people born in periods of various treatment options and for different degrees of premature birth. Registry data also allow us to retrieve information about parent's health and to make family-level analyzes.

Key questions

  1. How does premature birth affect the risk in adolescence and adulthood of chronic diseases and co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, lung diseases, autoimmune diseases, autism (ASD) and ADHD, severe mental illness and accidents?
  2. How do premature babies work socially and in society (founding family, reproduction, completing schooling and education, ability to participate in working life)?
  3. To what extent are associations with diseases and social factors affected by supposedly protective and worsening factors associated with treatment, family and environment?
  4. What factors affect mortality after preterm birth, in and beyond the neonatal period, and how does changes in survival over time affect later health among the survivors?

Risk and Resilience in Adolescents and Young Adults Born Preterm

Ph.d. project for Christine Bachmann (MD, consultant neonatologist), funded by Samarbeidsorganet, Helse Midt-Norge.

In this project, we will study some of the consequences of being born prematurely, especially possible consequences in adolescence and young adulthood.

We will assess whether premature babies are more vulnerable, compared to infants born at term, to the use of medications for mental disorders and in terms of coping with life-events and adolescence. In addition, we will study resilience factors in preterm born adolescents.

The project uses Norwegian registry data to identify and follow everyone born in Norway during the period 1967-1998 into adolescence / adulthood. In addition to more traditional epidemiological methods, the size and scope of the data makes it possible to use modern methods such as sibling analyzes and within-individual analyzes. For example, we can compare premature born to their siblings in relation to later use of drugs for ADHD and anxiety / depression. We can also assess medical use in the period before and after an unfortunate life event within the same person, and the development of premature-born individuals can be compared to the progression of term-born.


Project leader

Kari Risnes
Professor and consultant in pediatrics