OBJECTIVE: Research is required to monitor changes in the nature of neurobehavioral deficits in extremely preterm (EP) or extremely low birth weight (ELBW) survivors. This study examines cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes at age 8 years for a regional cohort of EP/ELBW children born in 1997. METHODS: The EP/ELBW cohort comprised all live births with a gestational age <28 weeks (EP) or birth weight <1000 g (ELBW) born in the state of Victoria, Australia, in 1997. Of 317 live births, 201 (63.4%) survived to 2 years of age. A term/normal birth weight (T/NBW) cohort was recruited comprising 199 infants with birth weights <2500 g or gestational age <37 weeks. Measures of intellectual ability, educational achievement, and behavior were administered at age 8. RESULTS: Retention was 94% for the EP/ELBW group and 87% for the T/NBW group. The EP/ELBW group performed poorer than the T/NBW group on measures of IQ, educational achievement, and certain behavioral domains, even after adjustment for sociodemographic factors and exclusion of children with neurosensory impairment. The rate of any neurobehavioral impairment was elevated in the EP/ELBW group (71% vs 42%), and one-half of subjects had multiple impairments. The outcomes for those with <750 g birth weight or <26 weeks' gestational age were similar to those with a birth weight of 750 to 999 g or a gestational age of 26 to 27 weeks, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Despite ongoing improvements in the management of EP/ELBW infants, the rate of neurobehavioral impairment at school-age remains too high relative to controls.
- Academic achievement
- Low birth weight