Trajectories and predictors of growth and neurodevelopment in Very Low Birth Weight infants

Gibertoni, Dino (2014) Trajectories and predictors of growth and neurodevelopment in Very Low Birth Weight infants, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze mediche generali e scienze dei servizi, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6380.
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Neurodevelopment of preterm children has become an outcome of major interest since the improvement in survival due to advances in neonatal care. Many studies focused on the relationships among prenatal characteristics and neurodevelopmental outcome in order to identify the higher risk preterms’ subgroups. The aim of this study is to analyze and put in relation growth and development trajectories to investigate their association. 346 children born at the S.Orsola Hospital in Bologna from 01/01/2005 to 30/06/2011 with a birth weight of <1500 grams were followed up in a longitudinal study at different intervals from 3 to 24 months of corrected age. During follow-up visits, preterms’ main biometrical characteristics were measured and the Griffiths Mental Development Scale was administered to assess neurodevelopment. Latent Curve Models were developed to estimate the trajectories of length and of neurodevelopment, both separately and combined in a single model, and to assess the influence of clinical and socio-economic variables. Neurodevelopment trajectory was stepwise declining over time and length trajectory showed a steep increase until 12 months and was flat afterwards. Higher initial values of length were correlated with higher initial values of neurodevelopment and predicted a more declining neurodevelopment. SGA preterms and those from families with higher status had a less declining neurodevelopment slope, while being born from a migrant mother proved negative on neurodevelopment through the mediating effect of a being taller at 3 months. A longer stay in NICU used as a proxy of preterms’ morbidity) was predictive of lower initial neurodevelopment levels. At 24 months, neurodevelopment is more similar among preterms and is more accurately evaluated. The association among preterms’ neurodevelopment and physiological growth may provide further insights on the determinants of preterms’ outcomes. Sound statistical methods, exploiting all the information collected in a longitudinal study, may be more appropriate to the analysis.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Gibertoni, Dino
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze mediche e chirurgiche cliniche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Neurodevelopment, growth, preterms, SGA, migrant mothers, latent curve models, Griffiths Scale
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2014

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