Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and other psychiatric outcomes in very low birthweight children at 12 years

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997 Nov;38(8):931-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01612.x.


One hundred and thirty-seven very low birthweight (VLBW) children were compared at 12 years with a sample of matched peers on a number of psychiatric symptoms including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, anxiety, and antisocial behaviour using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment parent interview and various parent and child questionnaires. The main psychiatric risk was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADH) disorders, with 31/136 (23%) VLBW children meeting clinical criteria, compared to 9/148 (6%) of peers. VLBW children were also more likely to have generalised anxiety and more symptoms of depression. More than one quarter of VLBW children (38/136; 28%) showed a psychiatric disorder of some type compared to 9% (14/148) of peers. VLBW children are at increased risk of psychiatric symptoms especially ADHD. This outcome is discussed in relation to neurological, demographic, and cumulative impairment factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conduct Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires