Stability of neurodevelopmental trajectories in moderately late and early preterm children born 15 years apart

Nienke H van Dokkum*, Alexander Lepe, Stef van Buuren, Sijmen A Reijneveld, Marlou L A de Kroon

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


BACKGROUND: Neurodevelopmental trajectories of preterm children may have changed due to changes in care and in society. We aimed to compare neurodevelopmental trajectories in early and moderately late preterm children, measured using the Developmental (D)-score, in two cohorts born 15 years apart.

METHODS: We included early preterm and moderately late preterm children from two Dutch cohorts (LOLLIPOP, 2002-2003 and ePREM, 2016-2017). ePREM counterparts were matched to LOLLIPOP participants by gestational age and sex. D-score trajectories were summarized by a multilevel model with random intercepts and random slopes, and multigroup analyses were used to test if the intercepts and slopes differed across cohorts.

RESULTS: We included 1686 preterm children (1071 moderately late preterm, 615 early preterm) from LOLLIPOP, and matched these with 1686 ePREM counterparts. The neurodevelopmental trajectories of the two cohorts were mostly similar. For early preterm children, we found no statistically significant differences. For moderately late preterm children, both the intercept (43.0 vs. 42.3, p < 0.001) and slope (23.5 vs. 23.9, p = 0.002) showed some, but only clinically minor, differences.

CONCLUSION: Developmental trajectories, measured using the D-score, in the first four years of life are comparable and stable across a period of 15 years for both early and moderately late preterm children.

IMPACT: Neurodevelopmental trajectories are similar for early and moderately late preterm children born 15 years apart and thus seem quite stable in time. The validated Developmental score visualizes these trajectories based on developmental milestone attainment Because of its stability over time, the Developmental score trajectory may aid clinicians in neurodevelopmental assessment of preterm children as this simplifies monitoring and interpretation, similar to a growth chart.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftPediatric Research
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 16-apr.-2024


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