The 5-minute Apgar score and childhood school outcomes

Roshan J. Selvaratnam, Euan M. Wallace, Peter G. Davis, Daniel L. Rolnik, Michael Fahey, Mary Ann Davey

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Aim: To examine the association between Apgar score at 5 min and childhood developmental and educational outcome. Methods: A population-based data linkage study of births ≥37 weeks' gestation linked to developmental outcomes at preparatory school and educational outcomes at school grades 3, 5 and 7 in Victoria, Australia. Multivariable logistic regressions and generalised estimating equations were used. Results: There were 167,126 singleton infants with developmental results and 392,933 singleton infants with at least one educational result. There was an inverse relationship between Apgar score at 5 min and poor developmental and educational outcomes, with the worst outcomes among Apgar scores of 0–3. Apgar scores of 7, 8 and 9 were all associated with poorer developmental outcomes (aOR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.12–1.54; aOR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.05–1.29; aOR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.02–1.13 respectively), while Apgar scores of 7 and 8 were associated with poorer educational outcomes at grades 3, 5, and 7. With progression through grades 3, 5, and 7, the extent of the difference in educational outcomes diminished (e.g. for Apgar scores of 0–3: aOR = 3.33, 95% CI: 1.85–6.00 in grade 3 and aOR = 1.49, 95% CI: 0.75–2.96 in grade 7). Conclusion: Apgar scores below 10 at 5 min are associated with poorer developmental and educational outcomes in school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1884
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Apgar
  • childhood
  • development
  • neonatal
  • school

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