BACKGROUND: Early preterm (EP) born children are at risk of neurocognitive impairments persisting into adulthood. Less is known about moderately to late (MLP) preterm born children, especially after early childhood. The aim of this study was to assess neurocognitive functioning of MLP adolescents regarding intelligence, executive and attentional functioning, compared with EP and full-term (FT) adolescents.

METHODS: This study was part of the Longitudinal Preterm Outcome Project (LOLLIPOP), a large community-based observational cohort study. In total 294 children (81 EP, 130 MLP, and 83 FT) were tested at age 14 to 16 years, regarding intelligence, speed of processing, attention, and executive functions. We used the Dutch version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition-Dutch Version (WISC-III-NL), the Test of Everyday Attention for Children, and the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome for Children. We assessed differences between preterm-born groups with the FT group as a reference.

RESULTS: Compared to the FT group, MLP adolescents scored significantly lower on two subtasks of the WISC-III-NL, i.e. Similarities and Symbol Search. EP adolescents performed significantly lower on all neuropsychological tests than their FT peers, except for the subtask Vocabulary. The MLP adolescents scored in between FT and EP adolescents on all tasks, except for three WISC-III-NL subtasks.

CONCLUSIONS: Neurocognitive outcomes of MLP adolescents fell mostly in between outcomes of their EP and FT peers. MLPs generally performed on a low-average to average level, and appeared susceptible to a variety of moderate neurodevelopmental problems at adolescent age, which deserves attention in clinical practice.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftEarly Human Development
Vroegere onlinedatum26-apr.-2024
StatusPublished - jun.-2024


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