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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1988 Oct;30(5):608-15.

Language development of low-birthweight infants at two years.

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Brown University Program in Medicine, Women and Infants Hospital of RI, Providence 02905.


Fifty low-birthweight (LBW) and 18 fullterm normal infants were prospectively evaluated at eight months and two years of age for language development and neurodevelopmental status. The LBW cohort was divided into those who were appropriate for gestational age (AGA) (N = 35) and small for gestational age (SGA) (N = 15) to assess the effect of intra-uterine growth retardation on language development within a premature population. LBW SGA infants lagged significantly behind term infants in both receptive and expressive language, but to a lesser degree than LBW AGA infants. Multiple regression analyses of gestational age, Hollingshead socio-economic status score, and eight-month neurological score as independent variables, and the receptive and expressive language scores as dependent variables, indicated that these three predictor variables had a significant cumulative effect on language development. Language was delayed in 28 per cent of the LBW children at two years.

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