Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: Children born during the pandemic score lower on cognitive tests, study finds

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 16 August 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2031

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

Children born during the pandemic score markedly lower on standard measures of verbal, motor, and overall cognitive ability, US researchers have found.

In a longitudinal study of 672 children from Rhode Island that has run since 2011, those born after the pandemic began showed results on the Mullen scales of early learning that corresponded to an average IQ score of 78, a drop of 22 points from the average of previous cohorts.

The study, which was funded by the US National Institutes of Health is awaiting peer review before publication in JAMA Pediatrics. But a preprint copy is available online.1

The researchers have largely ruled out a direct effect of the virus, as mothers …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription