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April 23, 1997

The Infant Health and Development Program: Results at 8 Years

Author Affiliations

Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tenn
Appalachian State University Boone, NC

JAMA. 1997;277(16):1278. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540400028019

To the Editor.  —The Infant Health and Development Program1-3 (IHDP) was designed to avert developmental problems associated with premature, low-birth-weight (LBW) infants. Included were 985 infants—one third randomly assigned to intervention, the others to follow-up. Interventions were home visitation following discharge and, at 12 months, parent meetings and center-based education for 2 years.When the children were 36 months old, substantial effects were reported: an advantage of 13.2 IQ points for heavier (2001-2500 g) and 6.6 for lighter infants (<2000 g).1 The authors claimed "substantial promise of decreasing the number of LBW premature infants at risk for later developmental disability."1Reevaluation conducted at 5 years showed initial differences had vanished.2 The exception was that heavier LBW children apparently maintained a 3.7-point IQ advantage (P=.03). But summary data deposited with the National Auxiliary Publication Service (NAPS) indicated this difference was 3.0 points (P=.09), not statistically

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