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Being preterm and small for gestational age had different effects on cognitive and motor development

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To determine the differential effects of preterm birth and being small for gestational age on cognitive and motor development of children.


Inception cohort followed up until aged 8–9 years.


2 counties in the UK.


All children born in 1980 and 1981 who were ≤ 32 weeks gestation and weighed ≤ 2000 g. 182 children were identified and 158 (55% boys, 18% twins or triplets) took part in the study. Children with major disabilities and congenital abnormalities were excluded (cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, blindness, and epilepsy).

Assessment of prognostic factors

Gestational age was based on the date of the mother's last menstrual period and clinical assessment. Small for gestational age was assessed using the gestational age and the expected birth weight (ratio …

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  • Source of funding: Department of Health.

  • For article reprint: Professor P O Pharoah, Department of Public Health, Whelan Building Quadrangle, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK. Fax +44 (0)151 794 5588.