Low Birth Weight Has Effects Into Adolescence

4woman.gov, Nov 09, 2006

 Even if they're not disabled, low birth-weight infants still face increased risks of physical and mental problems as teens, U.S. researchers report.

It's known that low birth weight increases the risk for major disabilities such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy. This new study shows that low birth weight may also be associated with minor problems in motor skills and in cognitive abilities -- thinking, learning and memory -- that can last into the teen years.

Reporting in the October issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City conducted intelligence and motor-skills tests on 474 non-disabled teens, average age 16, who weighed less than 2,000 grams (4.5 pounds) at birth.

The results showed that these teens had more motor-skills problems than other teens.

While their IQ scores were within the normal range, the average scores of the low birth-weight teens were significantly lower than the average for their age group, the researchers found. Read more at 4woman.gov

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