Friday, January 6, 2006—Race and gender are significant predictors of survival among extremely low birth weight infants, a new study finds.

The report appears in the January issue of Pediatrics.

In the study, researchers led by Dr. Steven Morse, from the department of pediatrics at the University of Florida, looked at the death certificates of 5,076 extremely low birth weight infants.

Morse’s team found that approximately 14 percent of the infants who weighed less than 500 grams at birth survived at one year. For those born at 501 to 600 grams, the survival rate was 36 percent, and for those born at 601 to 700 grams the survival rate was 62 percent. For infants who were more than 800 grams, the survival rate jumped to almost 85 percent.

In addition, the researchers found that females had a better chance of surviving compared with males. Also, black infants had a survival advantage compared with white infants. In fact, black female infants had a 2.1 greater chance of survival than white male infants.

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