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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


SCHIRMER, Carolina Rizzotto; PORTUGUEZ, Mirna Wetters  and  NUNES, Magda Lahorgue. Clinical assessment of language development in children at age 3 years that were born preterm. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.64, n.4, pp.926-931. ISSN 0004-282X.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of gestational age and birth weight on language development and neurodevelopmental outcome at age 3 years in children born preterm. METHOD: Cross sectional study including 69 children followed in our developmental outpatient clinic. Patients were consecutively included at the time of the 3 years of age appointment and stratified for birth weight (<1500 grams and between 1500-2500 grams). All patients were assessed for receptive and expressive language , Denver II and Bayley II tests and clinical neurological examination. For analysis patients were divided in two groups normal language acquisition (NLA) and delay in language acquisition (DLA). RESULTS: NLA children had higher scores on mental and psychomotor (p=<0.01, p=0.012) indexes of Bayley II. Newborns with less than 1500 grams had lower scores on all Bayley scale at age 36 months (p=0.002, p=0.007 and p<0.001). Multivariate analysis suggests an association between gestational age (p=0.032), abnormal behavior (p<0.001) and delay in language acquisition. Denver test at 12 and 24 months of age was a good predictor of delayed receptive and expressive language at three years of age (p=<0.01 and p=<0.01). CONCLUSION: Children born prematurely with low birth weight had an increased risk of language acquisition delay, and those had also lower cognitive and behavior scores when compared to NLA.

Keywords : prematurity; low birth weight; language acquisition; developmental delay; Bayley infant scale; Denver test.

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