Low-birth-weight children have increased risk for neuropsych disorders

  • Pettersson E & al.
  • JAMA Psychiatry
  • 6 Feb 2019

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Children born with low birth weights are at small increased risk for neuropsychiatric conditions in adulthood.

Why this matters

  • Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric conditions have been linked, but the strength of the association is not established.
  • Repeated betamethasone doses in preterm FGR is not tied to childhood cognitive status, but FGR is.

Key results

  • Within sibling pairs, reduced fetal growth had a significant effect on risk for specific diagnoses in adulthood (ORs; 95% CIs), including:
    • Depression: 0.95 (0.92-0.98);
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: 0.93 (0.87-0.99);
    • ADHD: 0.86 (0.82-0.89); and
    • Autism: 0.72 (0.69-0.76)
  • Each 1-kg birth weight increase reduced some effects.

Study design

  • Cohort from several Swedish registries.
  • Full siblings born within 5 years of each other identified (546,894 pairs of full siblings).
  • Birth weight obtained from database.
  • Outcomes included: diagnoses of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse, drug use, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.
  • Funding: Swedish Research Council through the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences.

Limitations

  • Only captured individuals with a diagnosis.
  • Confounders may not be accounted for.
  • Did not distinguish between birth weight and fetal growth restriction.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit