- A cohort of infants born extremely preterm still had neuropsychological deficits vs term peers at the age of 19 years.
- Prevalence of intellectual impairment had increased since age 11 years.
Why this matters
- Understanding long-term outcomes helps inform counseling, planning, intervention.
- Commentary authors note study limitations, including treating the cohort as homogeneous: "All survivors of prematurity are not alike," they write.
- Relative to term-born peers, young adults born extremely preterm had significantly poorer scores on 15 neuropsychological measures.
- Effect size (Cohen’s d) ranged from 0.69 (short-term memory) to 1.21 (full-scale intelligence quotient [IQ]).
- Impairment in ≥1 neuropsychological domain:
- 60% of extremely preterm group, and
- 21% of term group.
- Domains most commonly affected in adults born extremely preterm: general cognitive functioning, visuomotor abilities.
- In extremely preterm group, increases seen between ages 11 and 19 years in proportion having intellectual impairment:
- IQ less than 70 (from 8.4% to 15.1%; P=.021),
- IQ less than –2 SD vs controls (from 35.3% to 44.5%; P=.028).
- Status at age 11 years predicted status at age 19 years for cognitive impairment (P<.001 and visuospatial functioning>
- UK and Irish longitudinal cohort study of 127 young adults born extremely preterm (
- Main outcomes: neuropsychological measures at 19 years of age.
- Funding: Medical Research Council United Kingdom.
- Assessment not blinded for most participants.
- Uncertain generalizability.