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Pediatrics. 1990 Sep;86(3):337-44.

Cognitive and behavioral sequelae of mild head injury in children.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.


Data from a longitudinal study of 13,000 British children were used to assess the sequelae of mild head injury 1 to 5 years after injury. One hundred fourteen children with parental reports of mild head injury treated with ambulatory care or admission to hospital for one night were compared with 601 children with limb fractures, 605 with lacerations, 136 with burns, and 1726 children without injury. Scores at age 10 were adjusted for intelligence, aggressive and hyperactive behavior at age 5, sex, socioeconomic status, and six other social factors. Children with head injuries were statistically indistinguishable from uninjured children on all outcomes except teacher's report of hyperactivity. After control of hyperactivity at age 5 and the social and personal factors, the head-injured children's mean hyperactivity score was four tenths of a standard deviation above that of the uninjured children. Children with lacerations and burns scored as badly or worse on measures of intelligence, mathematics, reading, and aggression as the children with head injuries. The small magnitude of the hyperactivity association coupled with the overall negative results suggests that mild head injury in school-aged children does not have an adverse effect on global measures of cognition, achievement, and behavior 1 to 5 years after injury.

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