Are children of moderately low birth weight at increased risk for poor health? A new look at an old question

Ruth E.K. Stein, Michele J. Siegel, Laurie J. Bauman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The goal was to examine whether moderately low birth weight children were at greater risk for health problems than normal birth weight children in a nationally representative sample of US children. METHODS. Data were analyzed for 7817 children, 0 to 12 years of age, from the sample child file of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey. Logistic regressions were estimated to examine whether morbidity rates were higher among moderately low birth weight children than among normal birth weight children and to control for covariates. Health was measured as having a special health care need, having a chronic condition, being hospitalized in the past year, having a learning disability, attention-deficit disorder/attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or other behavioral disorders, having minor health conditions, and having acute illnesses. RESULTS. With control for other confounders, moderately low birth weight children were significantly more likely than normal birth weight children to be identified as having a special health care need, having a chronic condition, having a learning disability, and having attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. They were not more likely to have a hospitalization in the past year, other behavioral disorders, or minor health conditions or acute illnesses. CONCLUSIONS. This population-based study of rates of current morbidity shows that moderately low birth weight children born since 1990 are vulnerable to a wide range of health, learning, and behavioral problems, compared with normal birth weight children. This suggests the need for continued focus on ways to reduce morbidity rates for moderately low birth weight children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume118
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Keywords

  • Chronic conditions
  • Epidemiology
  • Health status
  • Moderately low birth weight
  • Special health care needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Are children of moderately low birth weight at increased risk for poor health? A new look at an old question'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this