Sorensen HT, Sabroe S, Olsen J, Rothman KJ, Gillman MW, Fischer P. Birth weight and cognitive function in young adult life: historical cohort study. BMJ (Int Ed). 1997 Aug 16;315(7105):401-3.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation between birth weight and cognitive function in young adult life.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study based on birth registry data and cognitive function measured during evaluation for military service. SUBJECTS: 4300 Danish conscripts born between 1973 and 1975.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean score in the Boerge Prien test of cognitive function; score is the number of correct answers to 78 questions and correlates with full scale intelligence quotient (IQ).

RESULTS: Mean score in the Boerge Prien test increased from 39.9 at a birth weight of less than or = 2500 g to 44.6 at a birth weight of 4200 g even after adjustment for gestational age and length at birth, maternal age and parity, and other variables. Above a birth weight of 4200 g the test score decreased slightly.

CONCLUSION: Birth weight is associated with cognitive performance in young adult life. Interference with fetal growth may influence adult cognitive performance.

Share on: