Too small or too soon, which is better? Or, more precisely, how does a group of 5- to 7-year-old children who were small for gestational age at birth compare with a group of children born after a short gestation, and how does each compare with a group born neither too small or too soon? These are the questions addressed in this monograph from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
On the basis of an elegant analysis of extensive and carefully gathered data, the authors conclude that survivors of both small-for-dates (< fifth percentile) and preterm (< 255 days' gestation) births are shorter and lighter, more likely to have psychiatric abnormality and neurologic abnormality, and less likely to perform well on a battery of psychologic tests at age 5 to 7 years than are survivors who were born neither too small nor too soon. The pattern and extent of the abnormalities are remarkably similar in the