Preterm birth and fetal growth restriction


Jennifer Zeitlin, Pierre-Yves Ancel


Prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and a major cause of childhood impairment. Too little is currently known about its etiology and its consequences on neurocognitive development and health, including clinical and social determinants and the role of medical practices.

Main objective

Our projects are organized around three themes:

  1. the long-term consequences of very preterm birth and their determinants,
  2. the organization of health services and medical practices and
  3. the etiology of preterm birth.

Principal themes

  1. Study of the outcomes of children born very preterm up until adolescence for a more detailed evaluation of neurodevelopmental consequences and health;
  2. Study of onset mechanisms of brain injury and their impact on development;
  3. Evaluation of the effects of treatments and new practices in obstetrics and neonatology;
  4. Analysis of barriers to the dissemination of validated practices and developing strategies to help care practices to change;
  5. Research in the causes of prematurity.

Main sources of data

  • Population-based cohort studies in France (EPIPAGE 2, n = 8000 births, 4000 children followed) and Europe (SPICE, n = 8000 live births) on premature children born in 2011 and followed at 2, 5, 8 and 12 years; (mettre ici les liens sur le site)
  • multidisciplinary studies based on EPIPAGE 2 cohort to answer questions that are difficult or extremely expensive to study in the entire cohort: brain imaging (EPIRMEX), nutrition (EPINUTRI), intestinal microbiota (EPIFLORA), parent-child interactions (OLIMPE ), management of pain (EPPIPAIN 2), ethics, and respiratory outcome in adolescence (EPIPAGEADO)
  • repeated cross-sectional surveys of representative samples of births (National Perinatal Surveys 2003, 2010, 2016);
  • EURO-PERISTAT, collection of perinatal indicators from the national birth statistics in Europe (27 countries of the European Union plus Iceland, Norway and Sweden) in 2000, 2004 and 2010.

Research Platform

RE-CO-NAI, a research platform for cohorts of children, is an infrastructure offering the tools necessary for the collection, storage, and dissemination of data on pregnancy, birth, and the child for cohort studies in France, either ongoing (EPIPAGE 2, ELFE) or to come.

Principal publications since 2010

Staff participating in this theme

Pierre-Yves Ancel (Epidemiologist, Université Paris Descartes), Jennifer Zeitlin (Epidemiologist, Inserm), Béatrice Blondel (Epidemiologist, Inserm), Gérard Bréart (Epidemiologist, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie), Antoine Burguet (Pediatrician-Epidemiologist, Dijon), Ricardo Carbajal (Pediatrician, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie), Marie-Laure Charkaluk (Pediatrician-Epidemiologist, Lille), Laurence Foix-L’Hélias (Pediatrician-Epidemiologist, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie), Jeanne Fresson (Epidemiologist, Nancy), François Goffinet (Obstetrician-Epidemiologist, Université Paris Descartes), Monique Kaminski (Epidemiologist, Inserm), Gilles Kayem (Obstetrician, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie), Babak Khoshnood (Epidemiologist, Inserm), Véronique Pierrat (Pediatrician, Lille), Marie-Josèphe Saurel-Cubizolles (Epidemiologist, Inserm), Valérie Benhamou (Project manager, Inserm), Cécile Lebeaux (Project manager), Mélanie Durox (Project manager), Laetitia Martin-Marchand (Statistician, Inserm), Anaëlle Coquelin (Statistician, Inserm), Jessica Rousseau (Statistician, Inserm), Loganayagi Annamale (Statistician, Inserm), Diep Tran (Data manager), Mayass El Ayoubi (Doctoral student), Xavier Durrmeyer (Neonatologist), Isabelle Renne-Guellec (Doctoral student), Isabelle Monier (Doctoral student), Marie Delnord (Doctoral student), Emilie Courtois (Doctoral student), Alice Germa (Postdoctoral fellow).

Principal collaborations

Collaborations in France

  • Groupe EPIPAGE 2
  • Cohorte ELFE, Marie-Aline Charles,
  • EA 4065 “Intestinal ecosystem, probiotics, antibiotics” (Université Paris Descartes) (Project EPIFLORE, associated with EPIPAGE 2)
  • Centre d’Investigations Cliniques P1419 – Paris Descartes

International collaborations

  • The EPICE group (), coordinated by J Zeitlin and funded by the 7th PCRD and comprising 11 other teams (country, institution, team coordinator):
    – United Kingdom, University of Leicester, Leicester (Elizabeth S Draper)
    – Netherlands, Stichting Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen (Louis A Kollée)
    – Germany, Philipps Universitaet Marburg, Marburg (Rolf F. Maier)
    – Italy, Laziosanità – Agenzia di Sanità Pubblica della Regione Lazio, Rome (Domenico Di Lallo)
    – Poland, Uniwersytet Medyczny im Karola Marcinkowskiego W Poznaniu, Poznan (Janusz Gadzinowski)
    – Belgium, Studiecentrum voor Perinatale Epidemiologien, Brussel (Patrick Van Reempts)
    – Denmark, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre (Ole Pryds)
    – Portugal, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto (Henrique Barros)
    – Italy, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome (Marina Cuttini)
    – Sweden, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (Mikael Norman)
    – Estonia, University of Tartu (Heili Varendi)
  • Research group of Pr. Thierry Lacaze (Directeur of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO-RI))
  • PREBIC: the Preterm Birth International Collaborative