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Fetal growth and subsequent mental health problems in children aged 4 to 13 years

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2000

Stephen R Zubrick
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health, West Perth, Western Australia.
Jennifer J Kurinczuk
Affiliation:
TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health, West Perth, Western Australia. Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.
Brett M C McDermott
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.
Robert S McKelvey
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.
Sven R Silburn
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health, West Perth, Western Australia.
Lisa C Davies
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics and Psychiatry, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia.
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Abstract

To test the hypothesis that children with suboptimal fetal growth have significantly poorer mental health outcomes than those with optimal growth, a population random sample survey of children aged 4 to 16 years in Western Australia in 1993 was conducted. The Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach 1991a) and the Teacher Report Form (Achenbach 1991b) were used to define mental health morbidity. Survey data for 1775 children aged 4 to 13 years were available for linkage with original birth information. The percentage of expected birthweight (PEBW) was used as the measure of fetal growth. Children below the 2nd centile of PEBW who had achieved only 57% to 72% of their expected birthweight given their gestation at delivery were at significant risk of a mental health morbidity (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.18, 7.12). In addition, they were more likely to be rated as academically impaired (OR 6.0, 95% CI 2.25, 16.06) and to have poor general health (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.69, 15.52).

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2000 Mac Keith Press

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