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Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2002 Oct-Dec;25(4):231-54.

Birth weight, neonatal morbidities, and school age outcomes in full-term and preterm infants.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881, USA.


In this prospective longitudinal study, birth weight and neonatal morbidities were evaluated relative to a broad range of school age outcomes. Fully 188 infants, 151 who were preterm, were recruited at birth, stratified by birth weight and socioeconomic status, and were followed until age 8 with a 97% retention rate. A gradient relationship was found among birth groups, with full-term children earning the highest scores. The very low birth weight and extremely low birth weight groups were equivocal in all scores except visual perception. The findings also were consistent with a pattern of nonverbal learning disability (Rourke, 1995) in which there is evidence of math underachievement and adequate performance in verbal, reading, and spelling scores. Children who had bronchopulmonary dysplasia, chronic lung disease, intraventricular hemorrhage, and sepsis differed from children without these neonatal morbidities, with an average of 10-20 points below the mean.

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