Sir.—There is much more to the article by McGuinness and Smith1 from the University of Iowa's tertiary care neonatal center than finding that 17% of newborns weighing 1,501 to 2,000 g had intraventricular hemorrhages (IVH). Although less than the approximately 50% incidence for newborns weighing under 1,500 g as reported from other tertiary care centers, the major importance of this finding becomes more apparent when the natality statistics from Iowa are examined.2 In 1979, the most recent data available, 1% of all livebirths weighed 1,501 to 2,000 g as compared with 0.72% in the 501- to 1,500-g weight group; 97.6% of all births were white. Since the heavier weight group has a much greater chance for survival, potentially more members of this weight group will be at risk for neurodevelopmental handicaps, major and minor, than the smaller newborns.
Since the authors have limited their study to patients
SEPKOWITZ S. Perinatal Risks of Neurodevelopmental Handicaps. Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(6):544. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140080014009