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Neuropsychology. 2001 Jul;15(3):411-20.

Neonatal hypoxic risk in preterm birth infants: the influence of sex and severity of respiratory distress on cognitive recovery.

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Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Tennessee 38152-6400, USA.


The authors examined the differential effects of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)--a condition associated with elevated risk for neonatal hypoxia-ischemia--on the cognitive development of the two sexes. The authors also attempted to establish whether the severity of respiratory distress is linked to cognitive outcome. Findings revealed an appreciable female advantage in cognitive recovery from RDS, yet the association between severity of RDS and outcome did not reach conventional statistical significance level. The sex effect on intelligence test performance was significantly greater for nonverbal subtests than for verbal ones. These results augment earlier findings of sex differences in cognitive recovery from perinatal intracranial hemorrhage. The current investigation also extends these results to a population of children at neonatal hypoxic risk for whom early brain injury was excluded on the basis of neonatal cranial ultrasound findings.

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