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Does intrauterine growth restriction affect quality of life in adulthood?
  1. Dale Spence1,
  2. Fiona A Alderdice1,
  3. Moira C Stewart2,
  4. Henry L Halliday3,
  5. Angela H Bell4
  1. 1Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  3. 3School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  4. 4Health Promotion Agency, CEMACH Office, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Dale Spence
    Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit, Queen’s University Belfast, 10 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5BN, UK;d.spence{at}


Objective: To compare health-related quality of life in 50-year-old adults who were born at term (⩾37 to 42 weeks’ gestation) with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR; birth weight <10th centile) and a group born at term without IUGR (⩾10th centile).

Design: Case control study.

Setting: A large regional maternity hospital in Northern Ireland.

Subjects: 235 adults who were born between 1954 and 1956 in the Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast. 111 subjects born with IUGR and 124 controls with normal birth weight for gestation were compared.

Main outcome measure: Health-related quality of life in adulthood was assessed using the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36).

Results: The two groups reported similar health-related quality of life on each of the eight dimensions of the SF-36 and there were no significant differences between them. Adjusting for potential confounding variables did not alter this conclusion.

Conclusions: The similarity of SF-36 scores indicated that those born with IUGR did not perceive this to adversely influence health-related quality of life at 50 years of age compared with those with normal birth weight.

  • GP, general practitioner
  • IUGR, intrauterine growth restriction
  • LMP, last menstrual period
  • SDS, standard deviation score
  • SF-36, Short Form-36 Health Survey
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • term infants
  • quality of life
  • case control study

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  • Published Online First 5 April 2007

  • Funding: The Research and Development Office for Health and Personal Social Services in Northern Ireland provided funding for this study.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethical approval: Queen’s University of Belfast Research Ethics Committee approved this study (reference number 56/00).

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