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Parental religious affiliation and survival of premature infants with severe intraventricular hemorrhage



To evaluate the association between parents' ethnic/religious affiliation (secular Jewish, religious Jewish, ultra-orthodox Jewish, Muslim Arabs) and survival of premature infants with severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH).

Study Design:

Survival of 102 infants (birth weight1500 g) born at the Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem from 1 January 1996 through 31 December 2005, who sustained severe IVH and who survived over 48 h, was assessed in relation to their parents' ethnic/religious affiliation and accounting for relevant clinical and demographic variables.


There were 38 cases of demise among 72 infants with IVH grade IV (52.8%), and 4 among 30 infants with IVH grade III (13.3%). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis accounting for relevant perinatal variables, the odds for mortality compared to the reference Arab group was significantly lower only with regard to ultra-orthodox patients (odds ratio, OR=0.06; 95% confidential interval, CI=0.00 to 0.80; P=0.033). In a logistic and in the Cox stepwise regression analyses with religion as forced in variable, comparing infants with IVH grade IV of religious and ultra-orthodox Jewish families with those of secular Jewish families, the OR/hazard ratio (HR) for mortality were OR=0.10; 95% CI=0.01 to 0.06; P=0.017, and HR=0.37; 95% CI=0.16 to 0.85; P=0.019, respectively. No significant difference between the groups was demonstrated when infants with IVH grade III were analyzed apart.


Parental religious affiliation may be influential on the outcome of premature infants with severe brain damage.

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Arad, I., Braunstein, R. & Netzer, D. Parental religious affiliation and survival of premature infants with severe intraventricular hemorrhage. J Perinatol 28, 361–367 (2008).

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