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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181c35ee4
Original Article

Indices of Body and Brain Size at Birth and at the Age of 2 Years: Relations to Cognitive Outcome at the Age of 16 Years in Low Birth Weight Infants

Lorenz, John M. MD*; Whitaker, Agnes H. MD†; Feldman, Judith F. PhD†; Yudkin, Patricia L. PhD‡; Shen, Sa PhD†; Blond, Anna MS†; Pinto-Martin, Jennifer A. MD§; Paneth, Nigel MD∥

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Abstract

Objective: To determine in low birth weight infants the relations of being small for gestational age at birth, microcephalic at birth, low weight for age at 2 years, and microcephalic at 2 years to full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) at the age of 16 years.

Methods: A prospective observational study of 422 of 837 eligible nondisabled low birth weight (<2000 g) adolescents from the newborn brain hemorrhage cohort with weight and head circumference at birth and at the age of 2 years in whom FSIQ was assessed with the Wechsler Abbreviated Scales of Intelligence at the age of 16 years.

Results: In a multiple regression analysis, being small for gestational age (β = −0.14, p = .02) and microcephalic at 2 years (β = −0.18, p < .001), but not low weight for age at 2 years or microcephaly at birth, had significant independent effects on 16-year FSIQ. After adjusting for pre-, peri-, and postnatal risk factors for poor cognitive performance, the independent effects of being small for gestational age (β = −0.13, p = .004) and microcephalic at 2 years (β = −0.13, p = .01) persisted. In this analysis, birth social risk had the largest significant independent effect on 16-year FSIQ (β = −0.28, p < .001).

Conclusions: Being small for gestational age at birth, but not low weight for age at 2 years, and microcephaly at 2 years, but not at birth, were independently related to FSIQ of nondisabled low birth weight adolescents, both with and without control for pre-, peri-, and postnatal risk factors.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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