Intended for healthcare professionals


Outcome of neonatal hypoglycaemia

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 16 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:194

Complete data are needed

  1. Marvin Cornblath, Lecturer in paediatrics,
  2. Robert Schwartz, Professor of pediatrics
  1. Neonatology Division, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
  2. Brown University School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Providence, RI 02903, USA
  3. Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH
  4. Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

    EDITOR—Ten years ago Lucas et al reported a retrospective multicentre study determining whether asymptomatic neonatal hypoglycaemia results in neurological damage.1 They found that moderate hypoglycaemia (<2.6mmol/l) may have serious neurodevelopmental consequences if present on five or more different days during the first two months of life.

    Subsequently, in October 1989,a Ciba Foundation discussion meeting was held in order to clarify the data and conclusions presented by Lucas et al. 12Sinclair and Steere, using specific criteria, recognised that all the published follow up studies were too flawed and inadequate to provide a definite conclusion. Lucas et al had assembled a large inception cohort in their study, with objective outcome criteria and with assessments done by people who were blind to category of exposure. Follow up was almost complete. However, they had not specified a criterion for hypoglycaemia, and sampling bias was …

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