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Who Is at Risk for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

The more premature an infant is and the lower his or her birth weight, the greater the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Most infants who develop BPD are born more than 10 weeks before their due dates, weigh less than 2 pounds (about 1,000 grams) at birth, and have breathing problems. Infections that occur before or shortly after birth also can contribute to BPD.

The number of babies who have BPD is higher now than in the past. This is because of advances in care that help more premature infants survive.

Many babies who develop BPD are born with serious respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). However, some babies who have mild RDS or don't have RDS also develop BPD. These babies often have very low birth weights and one or more other conditions, such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and sepsis.

PDA is a heart problem that occurs soon after birth in some babies. Sepsis is a serious bacterial infection in the bloodstream.

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January 12, 2012