Aim: To assess cerebral lesions and other medical as well as social characteristics as predictors of risk of mild and severe cognitive deficiencies in very preterm infants.
Methods: As part of the EPIPAGE population-based prospective cohort study, perinatal data and cognitive outcome at 5 years of age were recorded for 1503 infants born before 33 weeks of gestation in nine regions of France in 1997. Mild cognitive deficiency was defined as a Mental Processing Composite score on the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children test of between 70 and 84, and severe cognitive deficiency as a score of <70.
Results: After controlling for cerebral lesions and other medical as well as social factors, low parental socio-economic status and lack of breastfeeding were significant predictors of mild and severe cognitive deficiencies, whereas presence of cerebral lesions, being small for gestational age and having a large number of siblings were predictors of severe cognitive deficiency.
Conclusion: Predictors of poor cognitive outcome in very preterm infants are low social status, lack of breastfeeding, presence of cerebral lesions on ultrasound scan, being born small for gestational age and having a high number of siblings. Social factors predicted both mild and severe cognitive deficiencies, whereas medical factors predicted mostly severe cognitive deficiencies.
© 2011 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica © 2011 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.