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Children infected with meningitis before 1 year of age were at increased risk of disability at 5 years of age

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QUESTION: In children who had meningitis during their first year of life, what are the sequelae at 5 years of age?


Inception cohort of children who survived an acute attack of meningitis in their first year.


General practices in the UK.


1717 children who contracted meningitis during their first year. Sex and age matched children from the same general practice as the index child formed the control group. Data at 5 years of age were available for 1584 children (92%) who had had meningitis and 1391 control group children (94%).

Assessment of prognostic factors

General practitioners (GPs) completed questionnaires on children, which described problems in health, neuromotor development, learning, vision, hearing, speech and language, behaviour, and presence of seizure disorders. Parents completed questionnaires on their child's health, development, and schooling. Gestational age, birth weight, the organism …

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  • Sources of funding: Action Research and the Fayed Charitable Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Ms H Bedford, Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears Evidence-Based Medicine.