Long term outcomes to adolescence of extremely low birth weight babies

Litt JS, Taylor HG, Margevicius S, Schluchter M, Andreias L, Hack M: Academic achievement of adolescents born with extremely low birth weight. Acta Paediatrica 2012.
A large cohort of babies born in the mid 90’s (n over 200) was followed by Maureen Hack’s group at Rainbow Babies Hospital in Cleveland, and had IQ (and more detailed tests of cognitive functioning also) performed at 8 and 14 years of age. Reassuringly 83% were not impaired, of this group of babies less than 1kg birth weight with a mean gestational age of about 26 weeks.

The accompanying editorial by Michael Msall notes that although these figures are encouraging, the very preterm babies did worse overall on everything that was measured. That many “ELBW survivors experience ongoing challenges in learning, coordination and executive function. These children benefit from high-quality comprehensive interventions and educational accommodations with continued review of how these services promote literacy, numeracy and life skills.”

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
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