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Epipage 2 (Epidemiological study on small gestational ages) is a prospective population-based national cohort implemented to better understand the short, mid and long term future of premature children.

This study was launched on 28 March 2011 by the researchers of the EPOPé team (Perinatal, Obstetric and Pediatric Epidemiology Research) of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Centre (INSERM U1153), in collaboration with the Inserm 1027 Unit (Epidemiology and Analysis in Public Health: risks, chronic diseases and handicaps) and medical teams of public health and research in 25 French regions.
The study focuses on children born before 35 weeks of amenorrhea, divided into three groups:

- extremely preterm children (born before the end of the 6th month of pregnancy, between 22 and 26 weeks of amenorrhea)
- very preterm children(born before the end of the 7th month of pregnancy, between 27 and 31 weeks of amenorrhea)
- moderately preterm children (born at the beginning of the 8th month of pregnancy, between 32 and 34 weeks of finished amenorrhea)

Children will be followed-up until the age of 13 years.

The Epipage 2 study is a follow-up to the Epipage 1 study, which was carried out in nine regions of France in 1997 by the same research team. This study contributed to the production of new knowledge on the causes of prematurity and its consequences, and on the benefit of certain treatments.
Since 1997, the situation has changed. There are more premature children, their survival has improved, and practices in obstetrics and neonatal care have evolved. It is therefore essential to know what the premature children who are born today become, beyond the first weeks of life.

This study will provide original information on their long-term future, given the progress made in recent years. They will provide valuable assistance to medical teams in the management and follow-up of children and will allow better information to families.

This project was funded with the support of the Institute of Public Health Research/ Public Health Thematic Institute and its funding partners (Ministère de la santé et des sports, Ministère délégué à la recherche, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Institut National du Cancer and Caisse Nationale de solidarité pour l'Autonomie) and the EQUIPEX programme for future investments (National Research Agency)

What are the objectives?

This study aims to answer many questions about prematurity:
- Improve knowledge of the causes of prematurity.
- Assess the effects of the organisation of medical care and practice on the health and development of premature children.
- To better understand the future of very premature children and to define specific management needs during childhood.
- To study in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary way the major issues of the health, development and socialization of these children in the medium and long term.