J Korean Med Sci.  2015 Oct;30(Suppl 1):S25-S34. 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.S1.S25.

Changes in Survival Rate for Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants in Korea: Comparison with Other Countries

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. baecw@khnmc.or.kr


Recently the Korean Neonatal Network (KNN) was established in order to enhance treatment outcomes further through the registration of very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBWI) data. The present study was conducted on 2,606 VLBWI, 2,386 registered and 220 un-registered, in the KNN participating centers, with the objective of reporting on recent survival rates of VLBWI in Korea and verifying the changing trends in survival rates with data from the 1960s and beyond. The study also aimed to compare the premature infants' survival rate in Korea with those reported in neonatal networks of other countries. The recent survival rate of VLBWI increased more than twice from 35.6% in the 1960s to 84.8%, and the survival rate of the extremely low birth weight infants (ELBWI) increased by more than 10 times, indicating improvement of the survival rate in premature infants with lower birth weight and gestational age. Comparison of VLBWI between countries showed improved survival rates according to each birth weight group in Canada, Australia-New Zealand, and European countries with Japan at the head, but in terms of comparison based on gestational age, differences, except for Japan, have been reduced. Efforts to increase the survival rate of premature infants in Korea with low birth rate are inevitable, and they should be the foundation of academic and clinical development based on its network with advanced countries.


Infant, Newborn; Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight; Mortality; Survival Rate; Gestational Age; Intensive Care, Neonatal

MeSH Terms

Databases, Factual
Gestational Age
Infant Mortality/*trends
Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
*Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
Republic of Korea
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