Longitudinal outcomes of very low birth weight: neuropsychological findings

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 Mar;10(2):149-63. doi: 10.1017/S1355617704102038.


To investigate the effects of very low birth weight (VLBW, &1500 g) on the development of neuropsychological skills, we assessed 67 children with birth weight <750 g, 64 with birth weight 750-1499 g, and 67 term-born controls. Growth modeling of raw scores from mean ages 7-14 years revealed persistent VLBW sequelae. Even when adjusting for IQ, the <750 g group scored more poorly than the term-born group on measures of language processing, verbal list learning, and perceptual-motor and organizational abilities. This group also made slower age-related progress than the control group on tests of perceptual-motor and executive functions. Environmental factors moderated group differences in change on other cognitive measures. These results revealed further evidence for slower skill development in both VLBW groups relative to controls, as well as"catch-up" growth in the 750-1499 g group on some measures. The findings suggest age-related changes in the cognitive sequelae of VLBW that depend on the skill assessed, the degree of VLBW, and environmental factors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Obstetric Labor Complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Severity of Illness Index