BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Late preterm infants (LPIs) (gestation 34 weeks and 0 days to 36 weeks and 6 days) compared with full-term infants (FTIs) are at increased risk for mortality and short- and long-term morbidity. The objective of this study was to assess the neurodevelopmental outcomes in a longitudinal cohort study of LPIs from infancy to school age and determine predictive values of earlier developmental testing compared with school-age testing.
METHODS: We used general estimating equations to calculate the odds of school readiness in a nationally representative cohort of 4900 full-term and 950 late preterm infants. We generated positive and negative predictive values of the ability of the 24-month Mental Developmental Index (MDI) scores of the Bayley Short Form, Research Edition, to predict Total School Readiness Score (TSRS) at kindergarten age.
RESULTS: In multivariable analysis, late preterm infants had higher odds of worse TSRSs (adjusted odds ratio 1.52 [95% confidence interval 1.06–2.18], P = .0215). The positive predictive value of a child having an MDI of <70 at 24 months and a TSRS <5% at kindergarten was 10.4%. The negative predictive value of having an MDI of >70 at 24 months and a TSRS >5% was 96.8%. Most infants improved score ranking over the study interval.
CONCLUSIONS: LPIs continue to be delayed at kindergarten compared with FTIs. The predictive validity of having a TSRS in the bottom 5% given a MDI <70 at 24 months was poor. A child who tested within the normal range (>85) at 24 months had an excellent chance of testing in the normal range at kindergarten.
- Accepted June 15, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics