Mathematical performance in childhood and early adult outcomes after very preterm birth: an individual participant data meta‐analysis Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • AimTo investigate the strength of the independent associations of mathematics performance in children born very preterm (<32wks' gestation or <1500g birthweight) with attending postsecondary education and their current employment status in young adulthood.MethodWe harmonized data from six very preterm birth cohorts from five different countries and carried out one‐stage individual participant data meta‐analyses (n=954, 52% female) using mixed effects logistic regression models. Mathematics scores at 8 to 11 years of age were z‐standardized using contemporary cohort‐specific controls. Outcomes included any postsecondary education, and employment/education status in young adulthood. All models were adjusted for year of birth, gestational age, sex, maternal education, and IQ in childhood.ResultsHigher mathematics performance in childhood was independently associated with having attended any postsecondary education (odds ratio [OR] per SD increase in mathematics z‐score: 1.36 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.03, 1.79]) but not with current employment/education status (OR 1.14 per SD increase [95% CI: 0.87, 1.48]).InterpretationAmong populations born very preterm, childhood mathematics performance is important for adult educational attainment, but not for employment status.


  • Jaekel, Julia
  • Anderson, Peter J
  • Bartmann, Peter
  • Cheong, Jeanie LY
  • Doyle, Lex W
  • Hack, Maureen
  • Johnson, Samantha
  • Marlow, Neil
  • Saigal, Saroj
  • Schmidt, Louis
  • Sullivan, Mary C
  • Wolke, Dieter

publication date

  • April 2022