Cohort Profile: Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe (EPICE) very preterm birth cohort.

Why was the cohort set up?

The Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe (EPICE) cohort includes all births between 22þ0 and 31þ6 weeks of gestation in 2011/12 in 19 regions in 11 European countries. This cohort was set up to investigate the use of evidence-based interventions for prenatal and postnatal care of infants born very preterm (VPT) and to explore the associations between evidence-based care and their health and developmental outcomes. The first phase, ‘Effective perinatal intensive care in Europe’ (EPICE) focused on obstetric and neonatal care before and around the time of birth and during the neonatal hospitalization period, with follow-up at 2 years of corrected age (CA), while a second phase, ‘Screening for Health in Infants born very Preterm’ (SHIPS), assessed follow-up care provided in the first 5 years of life and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 5 years of age. Both phases were funded by the European Union [Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013, No 259882; Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, No 633724].