A team of researchers with Umea University have set out to investigate how preterm birth impacts children’s school performance.
Published in Population Studies, researchers found that negative effects among children born extremely preterm, after less than 28 weeks of gestation.
The study focused on data from Swedish registers for cohorts born between 1982-1994 of more than 1.08 million. The effects of preterm birth was examined at age 16 using sibling fixed effects models.
“Our results show that the negative effects of preterm birth are observed mostly among children born extremely preterm (<28 weeks); children born moderately preterm (32–<37 weeks) suffer no ill effects," the authors of the study emphasized. "We do not find any evidence for a moderating effect of parental socio-economic resources," the authors further stated. "Children born extremely preterm and in the top decile of school districts achieve as good grades as children born at full term in an average school district."