Middle-school-age outcomes in children with very low birthweight

Child Dev. 2000 Nov-Dec;71(6):1495-511. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00242.


Most previous studies of children with birthweight <750 g have focused on early childhood sequelae. To evaluate later outcomes, a regional sample of 60 <750-g birthweight children was compared at middle school age (M = 11 years) to 55 children with birthweight 750-1,499 g and 49 term controls. The groups were matched on age, gender, and demographic variables at the time of an early-school-age assessment (mean age 7 years). The <750-g birthweight group fared less well at middle school age than the term group on measures of cognitive function, achievement, behavior, and academic performance. In many instances, outcomes were less favorable for the <750-g children than for the 750 to 1,499-g group. Children in the <750-g group who were free of neurosensory disorders and global cognitive impairment performed more poorly on several tests than their term counterparts. Group differences in this subsample on tests of motor skills, math, and the ability to copy and recall a complex drawing remained significant even after controlling for IQ. Disparities between the <750-g and term groups increased with age for some measures. Despite favorable outcomes for many children in the <750-g group, this population is at risk for long-term developmental problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Child
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / psychology*
  • Intelligence
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Motor Skills
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychomotor Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors