Catch-up growth and behavioral development among preterm, small-for-gestational-age children: A nationwide Japanese population-based study

Akihito Takeuchi, Takashi Yorifuji, Mariko Hattori, Kei Tamai, Kazue Nakamura, Makoto Nakamura, Misao Kageyama, Toshihide Kubo, Tatsuya Ogino, Katsuhiro Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Doi

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Objective: To examine the relationship between the catch-up growth of preterm, SGA children and their behavioral development. Methods: We analyzed data from a large Japanese, nationwide, population-based, longitudinal survey that started in 2001. We restricted the study participants to preterm children with information on height at 2 years of age (n = 1667). Catch-up growth for SGA infants was defined as achieving a height at 2 years of age above −2.0 standard deviations for chronological age. We then used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the associations of SGA/catch-up status with neurobehavioral development both at 5.5 and 8 years of age, adjusting for potential infant- and parent-related confounding factors. Results: Twenty-six percent of preterm SGA infants failed to catch up. SGA children without catch-up growth were more likely to be unable to listen without fidgeting (OR 2.51, 95% CI: 1.06–5.93) and unable to focus on one task (OR 2.66, 95% CI: 1.09–6.48) compared with non-SGA children at 5.5 years of age. Furthermore, SGA children without catch-up growth were at significant risk for inattention at 8 years of age. Conclusions: SGA infants with poor postnatal growth were at risk for attention problems throughout preschool-age to school-age among preterm infants. Early detection and intervention for attention problems among these infants is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain and Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Attention
  • Catch-up, postnatal growth
  • Preterm
  • Small-for-gestational-age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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