Patterns of physical and neurologic development in preterm children

J Perinatol. 2002 Jan;22(1):31-6. doi: 10.1038/


Objective: To evaluate the influence of medical complications, gestational age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status on the changes in anthropometric measures and severity of neurologic impairment from 6 to 54 months of age in premature and term infants.

Study design: This study was a prospective longitudinal study to determine predictors of patterns of growth and neurologic outcome in low-risk (n=137) and high-risk (n=96) preterm infants compared to full-term infants (n=136). Growth modeling analyses were used to evaluate factors that might influence patterns of physical growth and changes in neurologic status.

Results: Medical risk level was a predictor of height and head circumference at 30 months and neurologic outcome. Gender was a predictor of weight gain. Medical risk level and gender predicted 13.8% and 32% of the variance in head circumference and neurologic scores, respectively.

Conclusion: Medical complications after birth and gender are stronger influences than gestational age on patterns of growth and neurologic outcome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Class