School entry age outcomes for infants with birth weight ≤ 800 grams

J Pediatr. 2010 Dec;157(6):989-994.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.06.016. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


Objective: To evaluate the mortality and long-term morbidity rates of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Study design: This was a longitudinal cohort study of all admissions born between 1983 and 2003 with birth weight ≤ 800 g at a single tertiary NICU. Trends in survival and neurodevelopmental outcome rates at school entry in four 5-year epochs were analyzed.

Results: Of 917 admissions, 552 survived to NICU discharge, with significantly increasing survival rates from 46% in epoch 1 to 71% in epoch 4 (P < .0001). Although the overall impairment rate of 30% did not change, the pattern of impairments did. Cognitive (P = .017) and hearing (P = .014) impairment rates increased. Visual impairment rates decreased (P = .042), with a trend toward decreasing cerebral palsy from 20% to 12% (P = .061).

Conclusions: Improved survival of low birth weight preterm infants has been associated with different types of neurodevelopmental impairments, including increased cognitive impairment rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Survival Rate