Motor Coordination Difficulties in Extremely Low Birth Weight Survivors Across Four Decades
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OBJECTIVE: To compare levels of motor coordination difficulties in a cohort of extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000 g) survivors and normal birth weight (NBW) controls from childhood until age 36. The stability of motor coordination in ELBW and NBW adults from their 20s to their 30s was also assessed. METHODS: This study uses a prospectively followed population-based birth cohort of ELBW survivors born between 1977 and 1982 in Ontario, Canada, to compare motor coordination at age 8, age 22 to 26, and age 29 to 36 in ELBW survivors relative to a matched group of NBW controls across a number of different measures. RESULTS: After adjusting for neurosensory impairment, ELBW survivors had significantly higher levels of motor coordination difficulties than their NBW counterparts at age 8, 22 to 26, and 29 to 36. Self-reported motor coordination remained relatively stable from age 22 to 26 to age 29 to 36 in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: ELBW survivors display higher levels of motor coordination difficulties than NBW controls in childhood through their mid 30s. Motor coordination seems to be stable from age 22 to 36 in both groups, suggesting that the presence of motor problems in ELBW survivors can have important implications for functional outcomes in adulthood.
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