-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Preschool children who were
born just a few weeks too early are at increased risk for
behavioral and emotional problems, new research suggests.
Researchers in the Netherlands looked at the results of
behavioral and emotional development tests on about 1,500 children
when they were 4 years old. Of those children, about 600 were
full-term babies and nearly 1,000 were born between 32 and 35 weeks
of pregnancy, which is classified as "moderately premature."
Compared with the full-term children, the moderately premature
children were nearly twice as likely to have emotional and
behavioral problems and nearly twice as likely to have somatic
complaints, which are physical symptoms with no medical
The study was published online Dec. 6 in the
Archives of Disease in Childhood.
"Our results demonstrate that moderately premature children are more likely to already have behavioral and emotional problems before they enter school," and these children may benefit from targeted help, the researchers wrote in a journal news release.
They noted that behavioral and emotional problems in preschool
children tend to continue into later childhood and adolescence and
are likely to harm their school performance and friendships.
Previous research has shown that children born very premature
(under 32 weeks) have significantly more behavioral and emotional
problems than children born full-term.
The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines ways that
change their child's behavior.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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