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January 1987

Disappointing Follow-up Findings for Indigent High-Risk Newborns

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas. Dr Lasky is now with the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(1):100-105. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460010100037

• Indigent populations have received little attention in neonatal follow-up studies. We conducted "blinded" evaluations one year past term for 204 indigent high-risk infants who were ventilator treated or had a very low birth weight (VLBW) (≤1500 g) and 85 healthy term controls from families similar to those of the high-risk infants. Marked developmental delay (Bayley Mental Developmental Index, <70) or gross motor abnormality occurred in 2% of controls, 27% of VLBW infants, 33% of ventilatortreated infants, and 39% of ventilatortreated VLBW infants. Despite considerable effort to prevent attrition, 43% of high-risk survivors were unavailable for follow-up at the one-year visit. Even if all of these infants were assumed to be normal, the incidence of developmental delay exceeded that in 11 of 12 recent studies. Indigent high-risk infants deserve considerable follow-up attention because of their high rate of attrition and developmental delay.

(AJDC 1987;147:100-105)

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