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Type: Journal article
Title: A whole-of-population study of term and post-term gestational age at birth and children's development
Author: Smithers, L.
Searle, A.
Chittleborough, C.
Scheil, W.
Brinkman, S.
Lynch, J.
Citation: BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2015; 122(10):1303-1311
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1470-0328
Statement of
LG Smithers, AK Searle, CR Chittleborough, W Scheil, SA Brinkman and JW Lynch
Abstract: To examine the risk of poor child development according to week of gestation at birth, among children born ≥ 37 weeks' gestation.Population-based study using linked data (n = 12,601).South Australia.All births ≥ 37 weeks' gestation.Relative risks of developmental vulnerability for each week of gestation were calculated with adjustment for confounders and addressing missing information.Child development was documented by teachers during a national census of children attending their first year of school in 2009, using the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI). Children scoring in the lowest 10% of the AEDI were categorised as developmentally vulnerable.The percentage of children vulnerable on one or more AEDI domains for the following gestational ages 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42-45 weeks was 24.8, 22.3, 20.6, 20.0, 20.4 and 24.2, respectively. Compared with children born at 40 weeks, the adjusted relative risks [(95% confidence interval (CI)] for vulnerability on ≥ 1 AEDI domain were; 37 weeks 1.13 (0.99-1.28), 38 weeks 1.05 (0.96-1.15), 39 weeks 1.02 (0.94-1.12), 41 weeks 1.00 (0.90-1.11) and 42-45 weeks 1.20 (0.84-1.72).Children born at 40-41 weeks' gestation may have the lowest risk of developmental vulnerability at school entry, reinforcing the importance of term birth in perinatal care. Early term or post-term gestational age at birth can help clinicians, teachers and parents recognise children with potential developmental vulnerabilities at school entry.
Keywords: Child Development
Gestational Age
Rights: © 2015 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.13324
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