New Research Sheds Light on Long-Term Pulmonary Outcomes for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Patients

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Researchers revealed new insights into the long-term effects of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease that primarily affects premature infants, on patient health. The new paper, co-authored by Dr. Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow, MBA, MD, Associate Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and published in the Journal of Perinatology, underscores the importance of early intervention and comprehensive care for individuals with BPD, with potential respiratory consequences lasting throughout their lives.

Dr. McGrath-Morrow and her colleagues thoroughly evaluated data from patients with BPD from infancy through adulthood. The paper provides critical insights into the long-term effects of BPD and emphasize the importance of early intervention and comprehensive care.

Key findings highlight that individuals who have a history of BPD:

  • Significantly benefit from early intervention and treatment in mitigating long-term respiratory outcomes. This includes minimizing barotrauma due to mechanical ventilation, optimizing nutrition to promote somatic growth, vaccine prophylaxis and judicious use of respiratory medications such as corticosteroids to manage symptoms and complications of BPD.
  • Face persistent respiratory issues into adulthood. These challenges encompass reduced lung function, limited exercise capacity, heightened susceptibility to respiratory infections, and an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Experience a diminished quality of life related to their respiratory health, leading to higher rates of hospitalization and increased reliance on healthcare services.

To address these complex needs, researchers recommend a multidisciplinary care model involving pulmonologists, pediatricians, and other specialists is crucial. They also stressed the need for ongoing research to help healthcare professionals improve the respiratory health and overall well-being of individuals affected by this chronic lung disease.

"Our review underlines the enduring challenges individuals with BPD face," said McGrath-Morrow. "The findings also highlight the need for ongoing, detailed studies to clearly map the full trajectory of BPD’s impact over a lifetime and identify opportune moments for intervention.”

Contact: Jennifer Lee, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6084 or