Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Babies' IQs suffer with fewer than 39 weeks in Womb

Babies' IQs suffer, study finds - The Globe and Mail (7-26-09)
"Babies born at 37 or 38 weeks are considered to be full term, but new research has found that they have slightly lower IQs and a modestly higher chance of dying in early infancy than those who arrive after closer to 40 weeks in the womb...The findings are troubling because an increasing number of births are induced after 37 or 38 weeks of pregnancy, said Michael Kramer, a McGill University epidemiologist, who is scientific director of Canada’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research...“Most doctors and mothers think that, once you reach 37 weeks, all is fine,” said Dr. Kramer, a professor of pediatrics and of epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill. But he and his colleagues have found evidence that those extra weeks can make a difference...results of study that found that babies born at 37 weeks had IQs that were 1.7 points lower than those of infants born at 39 or 40 weeks. The study involved 18,000 children who underwent cognitive testing at the age of six and a half. “There was an increase in IQ from 37 to 40 weeks. The IQ score was highest at 40 weeks of gestational age,”"

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