HomeAnswersPulmonology (Asthma Doctors)lung infectionAre premature babies prone to lung disease as adults?

Being premature, am I more susceptible to lung disease?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Divakara. P

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 9, 2017
Reviewed AtNovember 6, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I was born premature and required incubation for the first three months of my life. While in an incubator, I received oxygen daily for my lungs. I am now almost 30 years old. I have health anxiety, and worried that I am more susceptible to lung cancer or illness because of my premature birth and lungs. When I was 17, I randomly had a partial pneumothorax. It did not require surgery. I spent one night in the hospital on oxygen and then was discharged the next morning. I am tall and skinny, and they said this just happens to tall and skinny men. So, should I be concerned for now or later in life? Am I more susceptible to cancer and disease of the lungs? Is there any scientific data that points to this? I have not had anything wrong with my immune system or any other organs. I never smoked. Thanks in advance for your help.

Answered by Dr. Divakara. P


Welcome to icliniq.com. Being premature and being on oxygen for the first few monthsdoes increase the risk of lung infection, that too in early years of life. Now you are in 30, and I feel you have crossed the stage where you could have been at risk for infection and not for cancer. I am moreconcerned about your feature being tall and skinny. This type of feature is seen in a condition called Marfan's syndrome (genetic disorder of connective tissue). In Marfan's syndrome, spontaneous pneumothorax is common. Hence, I would recommend you to get examined by a doctor and ask him to check for features of Marfan's syndrome.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Divakara. P
Dr. Divakara. P

Internal Medicine

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