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Table 5 Low birth weight and child cognitive/educational outcomes

From: The impact of pre and perinatal lifestyle factors on child long term health and social outcomes: a systematic review

Study Aim Outcome measure Methods Results Notes Quality assessment
Strauss 2000 [47] To determine the long-term functional outcome of Small for Gestational Age (SGA) (2436 g) infants Educational and employment attainment Prospective cohort study
14,189 full-term cohort infants
Teachers were less likely to rate SGA children in the top 15th percentile of the class at 16 years (13% vs 20%, P < 0.01) and more likely to recommend special education (4.9% vs 2.3%, p < 0.01).
Adults (26 years) born SGA were less likely to have professional or managerial jobs (8.7% vs 16.4%, p < 0.01) and reported significantly lower levels of weekly income.
Mackay et al. 2013 [48] Association between gestation and birth weight and each cause of special educational need Causes of special educational needs Retrospective cohort study
407,503 school children aged between 4 and 19 years
Low birth weight was associated with sensory (OR 2.85, 95% CI 2.04–3.99), physical or motor problems (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.82–3.37), and intellectual impairments (OR 2.67, 95% CI 2.41–2.96). No details about weight in grams Moderate
Bartley et al., 1994 [59] Association between birth weight and socioeconomic disadvantage during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood up to 23 years old Socio-economic disadvantage Longitudinal analysis
4321 participants have data on birth weight and financial problems; 3370 have data on birth weight, housing conditions and social class.
1958-1981 (when cohort members were followed up at 23 years old)
Birth weight under 2721 g (6 lb) experienced the combined disadvantage of lower social class and overcrowding in the household (P = 0 01, 0 01, and 0 13 at ages 7, 1 1, and 16 years, respectively). Lower social class without household amenities or sharing them (P = 0.008, 0.002, and 0.18 at ages 7, 11, and 16 years, respectively). Strong association (P < 0 001), with cohort members of low birth weight being more likely to experience housing inadequacy. Statistical analyses were unadjusted Moderate
O’Brien et al. 2004 [60] To investigate the neurodevelopmental progress in a cohort of preterm (median 1282 g) survivors by comparing the results of detailed assessment at 8 and 14 years. Disability and educational outcomes Longitudinal
151 (out of 224 eligible infants) were available for the assessment at 14-15 years.
In preterm was an increase in the proportion of subjects with disability from 11% at 8 to 22% at 14–15 years of age.
Full scale IQ decreased from 104 to 95 from childhood to adolescence, and more adolescents (24%) were requiring extra educational provision than they had at the age of 8 years (15%).
Without control group Weak