Growth, head growth, and neurocognitive outcome in children born very preterm: methodological aspects and selected results

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Abstract

In light of the growing number of surviving children born very preterm, there is an increasing focus on their long-term outcomes in terms of growth, metabolic status, and neurocognitive development. Therefore, it is of importance to follow such children from birth onwards with the aim of identifying the causes of atypical development, developing preventative measures, and improving outcomes. Since such long-term follow-up needs to be conducted with the least possible burden, clinical investigations such as anthropometry and neurocognitive tests, if conducted rigorously, will continue to have a predominant role. The aim of this review is to discuss the complexity of longitudinal anthropometry in children born very preterm and to provide an overview of the main studies that have examined associations between growth, in particular head growth, and neurocognitive outcomes at around school age.

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