A study found that adults who were born very preterm or very low birth weight had a lower IQ and required special support in educational settings.
The results were released in JAMA Pediatrics.
In the study, 1,068 adults born very preterm or very low birth weight had been examined as part of six cohort studies from the 1970s through the 1990s. The participants originated in European and Australian landmasses.
The IQ of the participants was assessed in adulthood, having been followed since birth.
The participants born as very preterm or very low birth weight scored considerably lower than the general population, as many as 12 IQ points less. The participants also had lower cognitive performance in childhood.
“We have found that being born very preterm or at a very low birthweight continues to have a highly significant long term impact on the average IQ as compared to their peers in 7 different countries,” the study’s first author stated in a news release.
“The multi cohort, international aspect of this research can especially give us confidence in this important finding.”