Lower Birth Weight Tied to Early Childhood Development Concerns
THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Birth weight below the 25th centile for full-term infants is associated with child developmental concerns, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in PLOS Medicine.
Abiodun Adanikin, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from Coventry University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the association between birth weight centiles across the whole distribution and early childhood development. The analysis included 686,284 singleton infants born from 37 weeks of gestation, with child developmental assessments conducted between age 2 and 3.5 years.
The researchers found that babies born with birth weight below the 25th centile had a higher risk for developmental concerns than those with birth weight between the 25th and 74th centiles; the risk was elevated with decreasing centile. For larger birth weight categories, there was no substantial increase seen in the risk for early childhood developmental concerns versus birth weight between the 25th and 74th centiles. For birth weight between the 10th and 24th centiles, approximately 2.5 percent of social skills concerns and 3.0 percent of fine motor developmental concerns were attributable to birth weight compared with 0.90 and 2.30 percent, respectively, for birth weight below the 3rd centile, because the 10th to 24th centile group included more of the population.
“Mild-to-moderate small for gestational age is an unrecognized potentially important contributor to the prevalence of developmental concerns,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.