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The Scottish low birthweight study: I. Survival, growth, neuromotor and sensory impairment.


Of all 908 livebirths weighing less than 1750 g at birth who were born in Scotland in 1984, 896 (99%) were enrolled in a prospective study to document survival and determine the prevalence of neuromotor and sensory impairments and disability. At the age of 4.5 years, 636 (71%) had survived and 611 (96%) were assessed. Overall 16% were disabled; 47 had cerebral palsy (52.5/1000 livebirths), seven were blind (7.8/1000 livebirths), and 11 were deaf and using aids (12.3/1000 livebirths). Among those not overtly disabled, the prevalence of poor neuromotor competence was high and related to birth weight. All growth measures had mean values below the standard population mean indicating a downward shift in the distribution which was related to birth weight. In addition the height distribution was negatively skewed.

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