Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Ment and colleagues1 found that most very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants
demonstrated improved cognitive function during the first 96 months of life.
These results provide an interesting comparison to our own study of VLBW infants
who were reported for neglect.2 Ment et
al found that higher levels of maternal education and residence in a 2-parent
household were independently associated with improved cognitive functioning.
In our study, by contrast, neglected infants demonstrated a progressive decrease
in cognition over time, with decreased head circumference relative scores
at 2 and 4 years. We found that low maternal education and child neglect continued
to be independent predictors of cognitive outcome even after adjusting for
other perinatal and parental risk factors.2 Likewise,
Ment et al found that only the children of poorly educated mothers showed
cognitive improvements with early intervention services, such as occupational
and speech therapy.
Strathearn L. Long-term Cognitive Function in Very Low-Birth-Weight InfantsLong-term Cognitive Function in Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants. JAMA. 2003;289(17):2209. doi:10.1001/jama.289.17.2209-a