Evid Based Nurs 4:56 doi:10.1136/ebn.4.2.56
  • Causation

Children who were exposed to antenatal corticosteroids and had birth weights ⩽1500 g did not have adverse growth, cognitive, or lung function outcomes at age 14 years

 QUESTION: Are children who were exposed to antenatal corticosteroids and had birth weights ⩽1500 g at increased risk of adverse growth, cognitive, and lung function outcomes at age 14 years?


Cohort study.


A hospital in Melbourne, Australia.


154 consecutive infants (mean gestational age 29.4 wks, 53% boys) with birth weights ⩽1500 g who survived to age 14 years, corrected for prematurity. 130 children (84%) were assessed at age 14 years.

Assessment of risk factors

78 mothers (51%) had received 1 course of antenatal corticosteroids (betamethasone) to accelerate fetal lung maturation, and 76 (49%) had not received any antenatal corticosteroids.

Main outcome measures

Height, weight, and head circumference (z scores for appropriate age and sex, relative to the British Growth Reference of 1990); cognition (Weschsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Third Edition [WISC-III]); visual memory (Bead Memory Test from the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale); visual motor, …

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