Preemies at risk of mental difficulties

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    Note published 01.11.11

Low birth weight babies have an increased risk of mental difficulties when they are adults, a study conducted at NTNU has shown. The study included normal birth weight children, children born at term but with a low birth weight, and premature babies with quite low birth weights.

Babies in the first group had less than a one-in-ten chance of suffering from mental disorders 20 years later. The risk for children in the second group was one in five, while among the premature babies the risk of having a diagnosed mental disorder was one in three. Anxiety disorders and ADHD were the most common diagnoses.