Babies born at 37-38 weeks lag academically eight years later

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 05 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4567
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Babies who are born “at term,” but early, lag in school achievement eight years later, concludes a study of 128 050 singleton pregnancies in New York by researchers from Columbia University.1

“Term” is usually considered to be 37-41 weeks of gestation. The researchers, led by Kimberly Noble, found that school achievement at age 8 was significantly lower among children born at 37-38 weeks than among those born at 39-41 weeks.

The retrospective study used data from New York city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education. The study included all singleton births to mothers living in New York city from 1988 to 1992 and those children who eight years later …

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