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Acta Paediatr. 2005 Nov;94(11):1667-73.

The effect of voluntary dehydration on cognitive functions of elementary school children.

Author information

1
Primary Pediatrics Unit and the Division of Pediatrics, Soroka University Medical Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Abstract

AIMS:

(1) To describe the occurrence of voluntary dehydration in two classes of elementary school students as expressed by their morning and noon-time urine osmolality; and (2) to determine the relationship between the children's scores on cognitive tests and their state of hydration.

METHODS:

Group comparison among fifty-eight sixth-grade students (age range 10.1-12.4 y old) during mid-June at two schools in a desert town. Morning and noon-time urine samples were collected in school, and five cognitive tests were scored in the morning and at noon-time.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

(1) morning and noon-time urine osmolality; (2) scores of five cognitive tests (hidden figures, auditory number span, making groups, verbal analogies, and number addition) that were applied in the morning and at noon-time.

RESULTS:

Thirty-two students were dehydrated (urine osmolality above 800 mosm/kg H(2)O) in the morning. An individual's noon-time urine osmolality was highly related to morning osmolality (r=0.67, p=0.000). The morning cognitive scores were similar in the hydrated and dehydrated students (p=0.443). The adjusted mean scores of the noon-time tests, with the morning test scores as covariates, demonstrated an overall positive trend in four of the five tests in favor of the hydrated group (p=0.025). The effect was mainly due to the auditory number span test (p=0.024).

CONCLUSION:

Voluntary dehydration is a common phenomenon in school-aged children that adversely affects cognitive functions.

PMID:
16303708
DOI:
10.1080/08035250500254670
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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