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Rate of chronic health problems for low-birth-weight children does not increase in adolescence
Date:7/27/2011

hildren at age 8 years persisted at age 14 years (74 percent for ELBW children vs. 47 percent for NBW controls).

"At age 14 years, 46 percent of ELBW children had functional limitations compared with 16 percent of NBW controls, including mental or emotional delay, trouble understanding simple instructions, and speaking and communicating," the authors write.

The rate of ELBW children with asthma requiring medication did not change between the ages of 8 and 14 years (23 percent at both ages), while for the NBW controls, the rate of asthma increased significantly between the ages of 8 and 14 years, from 8 percent to 17 percent, respectively. Differences in rates of asthma between ELBW and NBW children were no longer significant at the age of 14 years (23 percent vs. 17 percent, respectively).

The rate of obesity in ELBW children increased from 12 percent at age 8 years to 19 percent at age 14 years. This rate did not change among the NBW controls; at age 14 years, the rate of obesity did not differ significantly between the ELBW children and NBW controls.

"Our results may have relevance to current survivors. The ELBW status may be considered a marker for the risk of multiple chronic conditions that warrant closer than average health surveillance during adolescence. In addition to therapy for neurodevelopmental disorders, ELBW children with asthma or obesity should receive interventions such as smoking prevention and exercise encouragement to reduce the consequences of these conditions and to possibly enhance their long-term adult outcomes," the authors conclude.


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Contact: George Stamatis
george.stamatis@uhhospitals.org
216-844-3667
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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