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Birth weight, catch up growth and its effect on cognition in children aged 5 to 6 years

Author: 
Sheetal Chandrashekar, N. and Veena Umesh, B.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Cognitive assessment is a formal assessment of a child’s abilities in a range of areas, such as verbal and non-verbal skills, memory and speed of processing. A Child may be assessed for concerns about their school performance or for any specific disorders. Birth weight is associated with cognition and educational attainment across the full birth weight range in the normal population. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of birth weight on cognition, as well as the effect of catch up growth on cognition among term born small for gestational age (SGA) children at 5 to 6 years of age. Seventy one healthy children, of whom forty four appropriate for gestational age (AGA), twenty one SGA and six large for gestational age (LGA) born, were selected from different private schools. Data on birth weight, obstetric history and parental demographic factors were obtained from parents of the children. NIMHANS neuropsychological battery for children was used to assess motor speed, attention, memory, speech and visuospatial function. Children born LGA performed poorer in tests of attention, and memory where the difference was statistically significant (P=0.002), while those born SGA scored lower in tests for speech when compared to children born AGA (P=0.002). Among term born SGA children, those who did not have a catch up growth, had significantly lower scores for motor speed of left hand (P=0.037), speech (P=0.038), and memory i.e reverse digit span (0.004) and picture recall (0.042). This study showed that children born LGA performed poor in tests of memory and attention while those born SGA scored low in tests of speech.

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