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JAMA. 2005 Jul 20;294(3):318-25.

Chronic conditions, functional limitations, and special health care needs of school-aged children born with extremely low-birth-weight in the 1990s.

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Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



Information on the school-age functioning and special health care needs of extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW, <1000 g) children is necessary to plan for medical and educational services.


To examine neurosensory, developmental, and medical conditions together with the associated functional limitations and special health care needs of ELBW children compared with normal-birth-weight (NBW) term-born children (controls).


A follow-up study at age 8 years of a cohort of 219 ELBW children born 1992 to 1995 (92% of survivors) and 176 NBW controls of similar sociodemographic status conducted in Cleveland, Ohio.


Parent Questionnaire for Identifying Children with Chronic Conditions of 12 months or more and categorization of specific medical diagnoses and developmental disabilities based on examination of the children.


In logistic regression analyses adjusting for sociodemographic status and sex, ELBW children had significantly more chronic conditions than NBW controls, including functional limitations (64% vs 20%, respectively; odds ratio [OR], 8.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0-13.1; P<.001), compensatory dependency needs (48% vs 23%, respectively; OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.9-4.7; P<.001), and services above those routinely required by children (65% vs 27%, respectively; OR, 5.4; 95% CI, 3.4-8.5; P<.001). These differences remained significant when the 36 ELBW children with neurosensory impairments were excluded. Specific diagnoses and disabilities for ELBW vs NBW children included cerebral palsy (14% vs 0%, respectively; P<.001), asthma (21% vs 9%; OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.6-5.6; P = .001), vision of less than 20/200 (10% vs 3%; OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.2-7.8; P = .02), low IQ of less than 85 (38% vs 14%; OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 2.7-7.7; P<.001), limited academic skills (37% vs 15%; OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.5-7.3; P<.001), poor motor skills (47% vs 10%; OR, 7.8; 95% CI, 4.5-13.6; P<.001), and poor adaptive functioning (69% vs 34%; OR, 6.5; 95% CI, 4.0-10.6; P<.001).


The ELBW survivors in school at age 8 years who were born in the 1990s have considerable long-term health and educational needs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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