The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2012 , Vol 54 , Num 5
Morbidity in Early Adulthood among Low-Risk Very Low Birth Weight Children in Turkey: A Preliminary Study
Divisions of 1Neonatology, and 3Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics and 4Department of Child Psychiatry, İstanbul University İstanbul Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, and 2Division of Neonatology, Ankara Children’s Hematology and Oncology Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. E-mail: The objective of this study was to assess low-risk very low birth weight (VLBW) children, before the era of modern neonatal intensive care in Turkey, during adolescence. Forty-one VLBW adolescents were compared with 40 adolescents who had normal birth weight. The physical and neuromotor development, educational achievement and psychosocial status were assessed at a mean age of 17±1.6 years. VLBW adolescents were shorter than normal birth weight adolescents (p=0.01). A major neurological abnormality (cerebral palsy) was seen in 12% and a minor neurological abnormality (tremor, coordination, behavioral and speech disorders) in 17%. VLBW adolescents had higher rates of visual problems (56% vs 5%). School failure was present in 27%. There were no differences in behavioral problems or quality of life between the two groups, but VLBW adolescents did have a lower self-esteem score. Neurodevelopment and growth sequelae were a significant problem in VLBW adolescents. As early intervention might help to prevent or ameliorate potential problems, long-term follow-up is essential. Keywords : very low birth weight, neurological impairment, educational achievement, behavioral problems.
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