Abilities of children who were small-for-gestational-age babies.Pediatrics. 1982 Mar; 69(3):296-300.Ped
A follow-up study of 51 small-for-gestation-age babies, whose intrauterine growth was monitored by serial ultrasonic cephalometry, was carried out at a mean age of 5.1 years. The developmental abilities of the children were assessed by using the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities and the results were compared with those of a group of matched control subjects. Children whose head growth began to slow before 26 weeks' gestation had significantly lower scores for the general cognitive index than control children. This did not occur in children whose head growth began to slow later in gestation. Scores for Perceptual-performance and Motor scales in the McCarthy scales were also lower for the children whose head growth slowed before 26 weeks' gestation, when compared with those of control children. There were no differences in the developmental scores of the children when they were divided into groups according to birth-weight percentiles. We conclude that prolonged slow growth in utero affects a child's later development and abilities, in particular, perceptual performance and motor ability.