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Scand J Soc Med. 1994 Sep;22(3):213-8.

The association between birth weight, placenta weight, pregnancy duration, subfecundity, and child development.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


It is well known that very low birth weight and preterm birth are risk indicators for delayed child development. It is the purpose of this study to estimate the association between birth weight, placenta weight, and gestational age in consecutive pregnancies which survived till after 28th week of gestation. The association between fecundity and child development is also studied. Data stem from pregnant women in a well defined regional area in Denmark (Odense) who participated in a concerted action on moderate alcohol consumption in pregnancy (EuroMac). All pregnant women with an alcohol consumption of 5 drinks or more per week or more in the first trimester were selected for the study in 1988 to 1989. A one to one match of pregnant woman was selected among the remaining pregnant woman based upon expected time of delivery and age. Altogether 326 women were selected for the study and the two groups are combined since alcohol intake in the measured dose range had no association with child development. The newborn went through two psychological tests at 18 month (the Bayley test) and again at 42 months of age (the Griffiths' test). Two hundred fiftynine pairs of mothers and children participated in all parts of data collection. Birth weight and gestational age was associated with the psychological scoring in the test performed at 18 and 42 months of age, especially the psychomotor index. Especially newborns with low birth weight and high placenta weight had low score values on mental development indices. No association was seen between a measure of fecundity (waiting time to pregnancy) and reduced child development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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