Maternal and neonatal risk factors for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome in term neonates in Cyprus: a prospective case–control study

Paraskevi Stylianou-Riga, Theodora Boutsikou, Panayiotis Kouis, Paraskevi Kinni, Marina Krokou, Andriani Ioannou, Tania Siahanidou, Zoi Iliodromiti, Thalia Papadouri, Panayiotis K. Yiallouros, Nicoletta Iacovidou

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11 Scopus citations


Background: Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) is strongly associated with premature birth, but it can also affect term neonates. Unlike the extent of research in preterm neonates, risk factors associated with incidence and severity of NRDS in term neonates are not well studied. In this study, we examined the association of maternal and neonatal risk factors with the incidence and severity of NRDS in term neonates admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Cyprus. Methods: In a prospective, case-control design we recruited term neonates with NRDS and non-NRDS admitted to the NICU of Archbishop Makarios III hospital, the only neonatal tertiary centre in Cyprus, between April 2017–October 2018. Clinical data were obtained from patients’ files. We used univariate and multivariate logistic and linear regression models to analyse binary and continuous outcomes respectively. Results: During the 18-month study period, 134 term neonates admitted to NICU were recruited, 55 (41%) with NRDS diagnosis and 79 with non-NRDS as controls. In multivariate adjusted analysis, male gender (OR: 4.35, 95% CI: 1.03–18.39, p = 0.045) and elective caesarean section (OR: 11.92, 95% CI: 1.80–78.95, p = 0.01) were identified as independent predictors of NRDS. Among neonates with NRDS, early-onset infection tended to be associated with increased administration of surfactant (β:0.75, 95% CI: − 0.02-1.52, p = 0.055). Incidence of pulmonary hypertension or systemic hypotension were associated with longer duration of parenteral nutrition (pulmonary hypertension: 11Vs 5 days, p < 0.001, systemic hypotension: 7 Vs 4 days, p = 0.01) and higher rate of blood transfusion (pulmonary hypertension: 100% Vs 67%, p = 0.045, systemic hypotension: 85% Vs 55%, p = 0.013). Conclusions: This study highlights the role of elective caesarean section and male gender as independent risk factors for NRDS in term neonates. Certain therapeutic interventions are associated with complications during the course of disease. These findings can inform the development of evidence-based recommendations for improved perinatal care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Caesarean section
  • Maternal risk factors
  • Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
  • Neonatal risk factors


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