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Eating problems at age 6 years in a whole population sample of extremely preterm children

By Muthanna Samara, Samantha J. Johnson, Koen Lamberts, Neil Marlow and Dieter Wolke

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of eating problems and their association with neurological and behavioural disabilities and growth among children born extremely preterm (EPC) at age 6 years. \ud Method: A standard questionnaire about eating was completed by parents of 223 children (125 males [56.1%], 98 females [43.9%]) aged 6 years who were born at 25 weeks' gestation or earlier (mean 24.5wks, SD 0.7wks; mean birthweight 749.1g, SD 116.8g), and parents of 148 classmates born at term (66 males [44.6%], 82 females [55.4%]). All children underwent neurological, cognitive, and anthropometric assessment, and parents and teachers completed a behaviour scale. \ud Results: Eating problems were more common among the EPC than the comparison group (odds ratio [OR] 3.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1–6.3), including oral motor (OR 5.2, 95% CI 2.8–9.9), hypersensitivity (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.6–5.6), and behavioural (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.9–7.6) problems. Group differences were reduced after adjustment for cognitive impairment, neuromotor disability, and other behaviour problems. EPC with eating problems were shorter, lighter, and had lower mid-arm circumference and lower body mass index (BMI) even after adjusting for disabilities, gestational age, birthweight, and feeding problems at 30 months. \ud Interpretation: Eating problems are still frequent in EPC at school age. They are only partly related to other disabilities but make an additional contribution to continued growth failure and may require early recognition and intervention

Topics: RJ
Publisher: Mac Keith Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2980

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