December 1977

Born Too Soon or Born Too Small

Author Affiliations

Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15261


Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 61, by G. A. Neligan, I. Kolvin, D. M. Scott, and R. F. Garside, 101 pp, $12.50, JB Lippincott Co, 1976.

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(12):1412-1413. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120250094028

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Too small or too soon, which is better? Or, more precisely, how does a group of 5- to 7-year-old children who were small for gestational age at birth compare with a group of children born after a short gestation, and how does each compare with a group born neither too small or too soon? These are the questions addressed in this monograph from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

On the basis of an elegant analysis of extensive and carefully gathered data, the authors conclude that survivors of both small-for-dates (< fifth percentile) and preterm (< 255 days' gestation) births are shorter and lighter, more likely to have psychiatric abnormality and neurologic abnormality, and less likely to perform well on a battery of psychologic tests at age 5 to 7 years than are survivors who were born neither too small nor too soon. The pattern and extent of the abnormalities are remarkably similar in the

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