In this study, we examined the prevalence of preterm birth admissions and relation between some maternal factors such as age, pregnancy induced hypertension and PROM with preterm admissions. This study showed the prevalence of preterm birth admissions was 27.8%. This finding was similar to a study conducted by Kuppusamy et al in India (12) in which the prevalence of preterm admissions was 28.25%. However, the finding of our study was higher than studies conducted by Kunle-Olowu, et al in southern Nigeria, Niger Tertiary Hospital which was 24% (13) and studies conducted by Abebe T in Addis Ababa which was16.15% (14).This discrepancy might be due to differences in the incidence of preterm births in the various parts of the country as well as methodological and socio-economic differences across the studies.
In the present study there were more preterm males than females which is similar to the study by Kunle-Olowu, et al. in Nigeria and Abebe T in Addis Ababa who reported more preterm males. According to born too soon, preterm birth is more common in boys, with around 55% of all preterm births occurring in males worldwide (5).
In this study, 86 (40.6%) of the mothers had been diagnosed at least with one medical problem during the current pregnancy which is similar with studies by Abebe T which was 40.6% (14).
In this study hypertension stands first 47 (22.2%) and premature rupture of membrane 23(10.8 %) is next cause to prematurity. But according to Kuppusamy and Vidhyadevi, in India the prevalent causes of prematurity were anaemia (28.42%), preterm rupture of membrane (24.63%) and pregnancy induced hypertension (18.23%). In this study hypertension during pregnancy is significantly associated with preterm admissions. However, studies conducted by Kunle-Olowu, et al, Mahmoodi et al, in Tehran Iran and Margaret F Carter et al in Texas, the significant risk factors of preterm admission were PROM(11). This difference may probably due to difference in early identification and intervention of prenatal maternal problems across the country.
From those preterm neonates admitted to NICU 77 (36.3 %) were died before discharge which is lesser when compared with the study done in Addis Ababa 45.3% (14) and mean weight of the preterm in this study was 1679.95 grams (± 396.174 SD) which is nearly comparable with the mean weight 1669.4gms (± 508.688 SD) (14).
In this study respiratory distress and hyaline membrane disease has significant association with death outcome of preterm birth which is almost similar to Singh Uma, et al, India, Septicaemia, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and birth asphyxia were the important causes of neonatal morbidity(15). According to Kunle-Olowu, et al, the commonest medical conditions were respiratory problems in 95 (68.8%) followed by jaundice in 94 (68.1%) and sepsis in 54 (39.1%) of the patients almost similar with this study (13).
In this study neonates with low APGAR score was significantly associated with death outcome. Similar findings are found in studies conducted by Kunle-Olowu, et al and Abebe T in Addis Ababa(13, 14). Also, in this study being extreme low and very low birth weight were significantly associated with death outcomes. This finding is supported with studies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Legos Nigeria(13, 14). This might be due to extreme low and very low birth weight neonates are easily vulnerable to infections and physiological disturbances.