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1.  Small for Gestational Age and Higher Birth Weight Predict Childhood Obesity in Preterm Infants 
American journal of perinatology  2010;27(9):721-730.
We sought to determine the association between small for gestational age (SGA), birth weight, and childhood obesity within preterm polysubstance exposed children. We sampled 312 preterm children with 11-year body mass index (BMI; age- and sex-specific) data from the Maternal Lifestyle Study (51% girls, 21.5% SGA, 46% prenatal cocaine, and 55% tobacco exposed). Multinomial regression analyzed the association between 11-year obesity (OBE) and overweight (OW) and SGA, birth weight, first-year growth velocity, diet, and physical activity variables. Overall, 24% were OBE (BMI for age ≥95th percentile) and 16.7% were OW (BMI ≥85th and <95th percentiles). In adjusted analyses, SGA was associated with OW (odds ratio [OR]=3.4, confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 7.5). Higher birth weight was associated with OBE (OR = 1.8, CI 1.3 to 2.4) and OW (OR=1.4, CI 1.1 to 2.0). Growth velocity was associated with OBE (OR=2.7, CI 1.8 to 4.0) and OW (OR=1.6, CI 1.1 to 2.4). Low exercise was associated with OBE (OR=2.1, CI 1.0 to 4.4) and OW (OR=2.1, CI 1.0 to 4.5). There was no effect of substance exposure on obesity outcomes. Many (41%) of these high-risk preterm 11-year-olds were obese/overweight. Multiple growth-related processes may be involved in obesity risk for preterm children, including fetal programming as indicated by the SGA effect.
doi:10.1055/s-0030-1253555
PMCID: PMC2949419  PMID: 20408111
Childhood obesity; premature birth; infant SGA; birth weight; exercise; prenatal drug exposure
2.  A Mechanism for the Inhibition of Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation by Cocaine 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(6):e117.
Background
Prenatal exposure of the developing brain to cocaine causes morphological and behavioral abnormalities. Recent studies indicate that cocaine-induced proliferation inhibition and/or apoptosis in neural progenitor cells may play a pivotal role in causing these abnormalities. To understand the molecular mechanism through which cocaine inhibits cell proliferation in neural progenitors, we sought to identify the molecules that are responsible for mediating the effect of cocaine on cell cycle regulation.
Methods and Findings
Microarray analysis followed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR was used to screen cocaine-responsive and cell cycle-related genes in a neural progenitor cell line where cocaine exposure caused a robust anti-proliferative effect by interfering with the G1-to-S transition. Cyclin A2, among genes related to the G1-to-S cell cycle transition, was most strongly down-regulated by cocaine. Down-regulation of cyclin A was also found in cocaine-treated human primary neural and A2B5+ progenitor cells, as well as in rat fetal brains exposed to cocaine in utero. Reversing cyclin A down-regulation by gene transfer counteracted the proliferation inhibition caused by cocaine. Further, we found that cocaine-induced accumulation of reactive oxygen species, which involves N-oxidation of cocaine via cytochrome P450, promotes cyclin A down-regulation by causing an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response, as indicated by increased phosphorylation of eIF2α and expression of ATF4. In the developing rat brain, the P450 inhibitor cimetidine counteracted cocaine-induced inhibition of neural progenitor cell proliferation as well as down-regulation of cyclin A.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate that down-regulation of cyclin A underlies cocaine-induced proliferation inhibition in neural progenitors. The down-regulation of cyclin A is initiated by N-oxidative metabolism of cocaine and consequent ER stress. Inhibition of cocaine N-oxidative metabolism by P450 inhibitors may provide a preventive strategy for counteracting the adverse effects of cocaine on fetal brain development.
Investigating the mechanism of cocaine's effect on fetal brain development, Chun-Ting Lee and colleagues find that down-regulation of cyclin A by a cocaine metabolite inhibits neural proliferation.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, cocaine abuse by mothers during pregnancy exposes thousands of unborn infants (fetuses) to this powerful and addictive stimulant. Maternal cocaine abuse during early pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage; its use during late pregnancy slows the baby's growth and can trigger premature labor. Babies exposed to cocaine shortly before birth are often irritable and have disturbed sleep patterns. They can also be very sensitive to sound and touch and consequently hard to comfort. These problems usually resolve spontaneously within the first few weeks of life but some permanent birth defects are also associated with frequent cocaine abuse during pregnancy. In particular, babies exposed to cocaine before birth sometimes have small heads—an abnormality that generally indicates a small brain—and, although they usually have normal intelligence, the development of their thinking skills and language is often delayed, and they can have behavioral problems.
Why Was This Study Done?
Exposure to cocaine before birth clearly interferes with some aspects of brain development. More specifically, it reduces the number and position of neurons (the cells that transmit information in the form of electrical impulses around the body) within the brain. All neurons develop from neural progenitor cells, and previous research suggests that cocaine exposure before birth inhibits the proliferation of these cells in the developing brain. It would be useful to understand exactly how cocaine affects neural progenitor cells, because it might then be possible to prevent the drug's adverse effects on brain development. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate the molecular mechanism that underlies cocaine's effect on neural progenitor cells.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
When the researchers investigated the effects of cocaine on AF5 cells (rat neural progenitor cells that grow indefinitely in the laboratory), they found that concentrations of cocaine similar to those measured in fetal brains after maternal drug exposure inhibited the proliferation of AF5 cells by blocking the “G1-to-S transition.” This is a stage that cells have to pass through between each round of cell division (the production of two daughter cells from one parent cell). Next, the researchers showed that cocaine-treated AF5 cells made much less cyclin A2, a protein that controls the G1-to-S transition, than untreated cells. Cocaine also decreased cyclin A2 levels in neural progenitor cells freshly isolated from human fetal brains and in fetal rat brains exposed to the drug while in their mother's womb. Treatment of AF5 cells with a cyclin A2 expression vector (a piece of DNA that directs the production of cyclin A2) counteracted the down-regulation of cyclin A2 and restored AF5 proliferation in the presence of cocaine. Other experiments indicate that the reduction of cyclin A2 by cocaine in AF5 cells involves the accumulation of “reactive oxygen species,” by-products of the breakdown of cocaine by a protein that is a member of a family of proteins called cytochrome P450. Finally, treatment of pregnant rats with cimetidine (which inhibits the action of cytochrome P450) counteracted both the inhibition of neural progenitor cell proliferation and the cyclin A2 down-regulation that cocaine exposure induced in the brains of their unborn pups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the cocaine-induced inhibition of neural progenitor cell proliferation involves, at least in part, interfering with the production (that is, causing down-regulation) of cyclin A2. They also show that this down-regulation is induced by the breakdown of cocaine by cytochrome P450, and that in both a rat cell line and in fetal rats, the cytochrome P450 inhibitor cimetidine (a drug that is already used clinically for stomach problems) can block the adverse effects of cocaine on the proliferation of neural progenitor cells. These findings need to be confirmed in animals more closely related to people than rats, and the long-term effects of cimetidine need to be investigated, in particular its effects on cocaine toxicity. Nevertheless these results raise the possibility that giving cimetidine or other drugs with similar effects to pregnant women who are addicted to cocaine might prevent some of the harm that their drug habit does to their unborn children, although it is not clear whether there is a dosage of cimetidine that might be both safe and adequate for this purpose.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050117.
A PLoS Medicine Perspective article by Steven Hyman further discusses this study
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse provides a fact sheet on cocaine (in English and Spanish)
The UK charity Release provides information and advice to the public and professionals about the law and drugs, including information about cocaine
MedlinePlus also provides a list of links to information about cocaine (in English and Spanish)
The March of Dimes Foundation, a US nonprofit organization for the improvement of child health, provides information about illicit drug use during pregnancy (in English and Spanish)
The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists also provides a fact sheet on cocaine and pregnancy (in English, Spanish, and French)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050117
PMCID: PMC2504032  PMID: 18593214
3.  Severity of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Child Language Functioning Through Age Seven Years: A Longitudinal Latent Growth Curve Analysis 
Substance use & misuse  2004;39(1):25-59.
The current study estimates the longitudinal effects of severity of prenatal cocaine exposure on language functioning in an urban sample of full-term African-American children (200 cocaine-exposed, 176 noncocaine-exposed) through age 7 years. The Miami Prenatal Cocaine Study sample was enrolled prospectively at birth, with documentation of prenatal drug exposure status through maternal interview and toxicology assays of maternal and infant urine and infant meconium. Language functioning was measured at ages 3 and 5 years using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Preschool (CELF-P) and at age 7 years using the Core Language Domain of the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment. Longitudinal latent growth curve analyses were used to examine two components of language functioning, a more stable aptitude for language performance and a time-varying trajectory of language development, across the three time points and their relationship to varying levels of prenatal cocaine exposure. Severity of prenatal cocaine exposure was characterized using a latent construct combining maternal self-report of cocaine use during pregnancy by trimesters and maternal and infant bioassays, allowing all available information to be taken into account. The association between severity of exposure and language functioning was examined within a model including factors for fetal growth, gestational age, and IQ as intercorrelated response variables and child’s age, gender, and prenatal alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana exposure as covariates. Results indicated that greater severity of prenatal cocaine exposure was associated with greater deficits within the more stable aptitude for language performance (D = −0.071, 95% CI = −0.133, −0.009; p = 0.026). There was no relationship between severity of prenatal cocaine exposure and the time-varying trajectory of language development. The observed cocaine-associated deficit was independent of multiple alternative suspected sources of variation in language performance, including other potential responses to prenatal cocaine exposure, such as child’s intellectual functioning, and other birth and postnatal influences, including language stimulation in the home environment.
doi:10.1081/JA-120027765
PMCID: PMC2634602  PMID: 15002943
Prenatal cocaine exposure; Language performance
4.  Level of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development: Modifying Effects of Caregiver, Early Intervention, and Birth Weight 
Pediatrics  2002;110(6):1143-1152.
Objectives
The objectives of this study were 1) to assess whether there is an independent association between the level of prenatal cocaine exposure and infants’ developmental test scores after control of potential confounding variables; and 2) if such an association exists, to determine which biological and social variables, individually and in interaction with each other, may modify it.
Methods
In a prospective, longitudinal study of 203 urban term infants, 3 cocaine exposure groups were defined by maternal report and infant meconium assay: unexposed, heavier cocaine exposure (> 75th percentile self-reported days of use or meconium benzoylecognine concentration), or lighter cocaine exposure (all others). Examiners, masked to exposure history, tested infants at 6, 12, and 24 months of age with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
Results
The final mixed linear regression model included as fixed covariates level of prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes; prenatal marijuana exposure; gestational age and birth weight z score for gestational age; and gender. Age at test, caregiver at time of each test (biological mother, kinship caregiver, unrelated foster caregiver), and any previous child-focused early intervention were included as time-dependent covariates. There were no significant adverse main effects of level of cocaine exposure on Mental Development Index (MDI), Psychomotor Development Index (PDI), or Infant Behavior Record. Child-focused early intervention interacted with level of cocaine exposure such that heavily exposed children who received such intervention showed higher adjusted mean MDI scores than all other groups. Although the sample was born at or near term, there was also a significant interaction of cocaine exposure and gestational age on MDI scores, with those in the heavier exposure group born at slightly lower gestational age having higher mean MDI scores compared with other children born at that gestational age.
There was also a significant interaction on MDI between child’s age and caregiver. At 6 months, the adjusted MDI of children living with a kinship caregiver was 15.5 points lower than that of children living with their biological mother, but this effect was diminished and was no longer significant at 24 months (difference in means: 4.3 points). The adjusted mean MDI of children in unrelated foster care at 6 months was 8.2 points lower than children of biological mothers, whereas it was 7.3 points higher at 24 months.
Early intervention attenuated the age-related decline in PDI scores for all groups. Birth weight < 10th percentile was associated with lower PDI scores for children with heavier cocaine exposure and with lower MDI scores for all groups.
Conclusions
Heavier prenatal cocaine exposure is not an independent risk factor for depressed scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development up to 24 months of age when term infants are compared with lighter exposed or unexposed infants of the same demographic background. Cocaine-exposed infants with birth weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age and gender and those placed with kinship caregivers are at increased risk for less optimal developmental outcomes. Pediatric clinicians should refer cocaine-exposed children to the child-focused developmental interventions available for all children at developmental risk.
PMCID: PMC2366173  PMID: 12456912
cocaine; pregnancy; meconium; child development; early intervention; kinship care; foster care
5.  Neurobehavioral and Developmental Traiectories Associated with Level of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure 
Introduction
In experimental models, prenatal cocaine exposure has been found to perturb GABA and dopamine development. Clinically, abnormalities in tone, posture and state regulation are noted in early infancy but the evolution of these findings over time is not well described. The current study assesses the longitudinal effects of prenatal cocaine exposure in dose-dependent fashion on developmental & behavioral and neurological trajectories over the first 2 years of life.
Methods
Three hundred and eighty infants, 113 cocaine-exposed, were enrolled at birth from an urban hospital from 2000 to 2004. Exposure was determined by maternal interview, segmental hair analyses (RIAH™) in all, and meconium and urine in a subset. Developmental, behavioral and neurological assessments were carried out blind to drug exposure at 6, 12 and 24 months of age in the 306 children who returned in follow-up. Mixed-effects linear modeling (developmental growth curve) assessed change in outcome over time.
Results
The mental developmental growth curve showed a negative slope (2.2 points) in adjusted analyses among cocaine-exposed children over the first 2 years of life. (p=.04), while the slope of the motor development growth curve did not. Adjusting for microcephaly at 6 months diminished the strength of the association between cocaine exposure and mental developmental growth curve (effect modification). Cocaine exposure was marginally associated with behavioral outcomes in adjusted analyses. Total Behavior scores and Orientation/Engagement scores improved with age. At 1 year of age, prenatal cocaine exposure was significantly associated with lower motor development scores. High rates of hypertonia (global and diparesis) identified at the 6-month visit dropped dramatically in the first 2 years of life: cocaine-exposed children showed a more rapid rate of resolution of hypertonia than unexposed children, with hypertonia improving 2.2 times faster among those with heavy cocaine exposure.
Conclusion
We found differences in mental performance over the first 2 years of life associated with prenatal cocaine exposure that was mediated by microcephaly implying that cocaine exerts a sustained teratogenic effect on brain development. Early neurological (hypertonia) and behavioral findings associated with prenatal cocaine exposure improved over time. Hypertonia did not predict long-term development impairments. Conceivably, the transient nature of neurobehavioral manifestations reflects postnatally a tendency towards homeostasis of cocaine-related embryopathic perturbations of GABA and dopaminergic systems.
doi:10.13188/2332-3469.1000015
PMCID: PMC4318507  PMID: 25664330
Perinatal; Cocaine exposure; Behavior; Drug use; Hypertonia; Neurologic; Child development
6.  Outcomes of Small for Gestational Age Infants < 27 Weeks’ Gestation 
The Journal of pediatrics  2013;163(1):55-60.e1-3.
Objective
To determine whether small for gestational age (SGA) infants <27 weeks gestation is associated with mortality, morbidity, growth and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months’ corrected age (CA).
Study design
This was a retrospective cohort study from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network’s Generic Database and Follow-up Studies. Infants born at <27 weeks’ gestation from January 2006 to July 2008 were included. SGA was defined as birth weight <10th percentile for gestational age by the Olsen growth curves. Infants with birth weight ≥10th percentile for gestational age were classified as non-SGA. Maternal and infant characteristics, neonatal outcomes and neurodevelopmental data were compared between the groups. Neurodevelopmental impairment was defined as any of the following: cognitive score <70 on BSID III, moderate or severe cerebral palsy, bilateral hearing loss (+/− amplification) or blindness (vision <20/200). Logistic regression analysis evaluated the association between SGA status and death or neurodevelopmental impairment.
Results
There were 385 SGA and 2586 non-SGA infants. Compared with the non-SGA group, mothers of SGA infants were more likely to have higher level of education, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, pregnancy-induced hypertension and antenatal corticosteroid exposure. SGA infants were more likely to have postnatal growth failure, a higher mortality and to have received prolonged mechanical ventilation and postnatal steroids. SGA status was associated with higher odds of death or neurodevelopmental impairment [OR 3.91 (95% CI: 2.91–5.25), P<0.001].
Conclusion
SGA status among infants <27 weeks’ gestation was associated with an increased risk for postnatal steroid use, mortality, growth failure and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months’ CA.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.12.097
PMCID: PMC3947828  PMID: 23415614
extremely preterm infants; neurodevelopmental follow-up
7.  Pre-natal exposures to cocaine and alcohol and physical growth patterns to age 8 years 
Neurotoxicology and teratology  2007;29(4):446-457.
Two hundred and two primarily African American/Caribbean children (classified by maternal report and infant meconium as 38 heavier, 74 lighter and 89 not cocaine-exposed) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8 years to assess whether there is an independent effect of prenatal cocaine exposure on physical growth patterns. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome identifiable at birth were excluded. At birth, cocaine and alcohol exposures were significantly and independently associated with lower weight, length and head circumference in cross-sectional multiple regression analyses. The relationship over time of pre-natal exposures to weight, height, and head circumference was then examined by multiple linear regression using mixed linear models including covariates: child’s gestational age, gender, ethnicity, age at assessment, current caregiver, birth mother’s use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco during the pregnancy and pre-pregnancy weight (for child’s weight) and height (for child’s height and head circumference). The cocaine effects did not persist beyond infancy in piecewise linear mixed models, but a significant and independent negative effect of pre-natal alcohol exposure persisted for weight, height, and head circumference. Catch-up growth in cocaine-exposed infants occurred primarily by 6 months of age for all growth parameters, with some small fluctuations in growth rates in the preschool age range but no detectable differences between heavier versus unexposed nor lighter versus unexposed thereafter.
doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2007.02.004
PMCID: PMC2227319  PMID: 17412558
Cocaine; Alcohol; Pregnancy; Growth; Children
8.  Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure at 9 Years of Age 
Journal of hypertension  2010;28(6):1166-1175.
Background
Prenatal cocaine exposure has been linked to intrauterine growth retardation and poor birth outcomes; little is known about the effects on longer-term medical outcomes, such as overweight status and hypertension in childhood. Our objective was to examine the association between prenatal cocaine exposure and body mass index and blood pressure at 9 years of age among children followed prospectively in a multi-site longitudinal study evaluating the impact of maternal lifestyle during pregnancy on childhood outcome.
Design/Methods
This analysis includes 880 children (277 cocaine exposed and 603 with no cocaine exposure) with blood pressure, height, and weight measurements at 9 years of age. Regression analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between prenatal cocaine exposure and body mass index and blood pressure at 9 years of age after controlling for demographics, other drug exposure, birth weight, maternal weight, infant postnatal weight gain, and childhood television viewing, exercise and dietary habits at 9 years. Path analyses were used to further explore these relationships.
Results
At 9 years of age, 15% of the children were pre-hypertensive and 19% were hypertensive; 16% were at risk for overweight status and 21% were overweight. A small percentage of women were exposed to high levels of prenatal cocaine throughout pregnancy. Among children born to these women, a higher body mass index was noted. Path analysis suggested that high cocaine exposure has an indirect effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure that is mediated through its effect on body mass index.
Conclusion
High levels of in-utero cocaine exposure are a marker for elevated body mass index and blood pressure among children born full term.
PMCID: PMC2874425  PMID: 20486281
Prenatal cocaine exposure; Body mass index; Childhood hypertension; Overweight; Obesity
9.  Effects of gestation and birth weight on the growth and development of very low birthweight small for gestational age infants: a matched group comparison 
AIMS—To investigate the effects of small for gestational age (SGA) in very low birthweight (VLBW) infants on growth and development until the fifth year of life.
METHODS—VLBW (< 1500 g) infants, selected from a prospective study, were classified as SGA (n = 115) on the basis of birth weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age and were compared with two groups of appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants matched according to birth weight (AGA-BW; n = 115) or gestation at birth (AGA-GA; n = 115). Prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal risk factors were recorded, and duration and intensity of treatment were computed from daily assessments. Body weight, length, and head circumference were measured at birth, five and 20 months (corrected for prematurity), and at 56 months. General development was assessed at five and 20 months with the Griffiths scale of babies abilities, and cognitive development at 56 months with the Columbia mental maturity scales, a vocabulary (AWST) and language comprehension test (LSVTA).
RESULTS—Significant group differences were found in complications (pregnancy, birth, and neonatal), parity, and multiple birth rate. The AGA-GA group showed most satisfactory growth up to 56 months, with both the AGA-BW and SGA groups lagging behind. The AGA-GA group also scored significantly more highly on all developmental and cognitive tests than the other groups. Developmental test results were similar for the SGA and AGA-BW groups at five and 20 months, but AGA-BW infants (lowest gestation) had lower scores on performance intelligence quotient and language comprehension at 56 months than the SGA group. When prenatal and neonatal complications, parity, and multiple birth were accounted for, group differences in growth remained, but differences in cognitive outcome disappeared after five months.
CONCLUSIONS—Being underweight and with a short gestation (SGA and VLBW) leads to poor weight gain and head growth in infancy but does not result in poorer growth than in infants of the same birth weight but shorter gestation (AGA-BW) in the long term. SGA is related to early developmental delay and later language problems; however, neonatal complications may have a larger detrimental effect on long term cognitive development of VLBW infants than whether they are born SGA or AGA.


doi:10.1136/fn.82.3.F208
PMCID: PMC1721075  PMID: 10794788
10.  Birth weight- and fetal weight-growth restriction: impact on neurodevelopment 
Early human development  2012;88(9):765-771.
Background
The newborn classified as growth-restricted on birth weight curves, but not on fetal weight curves, is classified prenatally as small for gestational age (SGA), but postnatally as appropriate for gestational age (AGA).
Aims
To see (1) to what extent the neurodevelopmental outcomes at 24 months corrected age differed among three groups of infants (those identified as SGA based on birth weight curves (B-SGA), those identified as SGA based on fetal weight curves only (F-SGA), and the referent group of infants considered AGA, (2) if girls and boys were equally affected by growth restriction, and (3) to what extent neurosensory limitations influenced what we found.
Study design
Observational cohort of births before the 28 week of gestation. Outcome measures: Mental Development Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II.
Results
B-SGA, but not F-SGA girls were at an increased risk of a PDI < 70 (OR=2.8; 95% CI: 1.5, 5.3) compared to AGA girls. B-SGA and F-SGA boys were not at greater risk of low developmental indices than AGA boys. Neurosensory limitations diminished associations among girls of B-SGA with low MDI, and among boys B-SGA and F-SGA with PDI < 70.
Conclusions
Only girls with the most severe growth restriction were at increased risk of neurodevelopmental impairment at 24 months corrected age in the total sample. Neurosensory limitations appear to interfere with assessing growth restriction effects in both girls and boys born preterm.
doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2012.04.004
PMCID: PMC3694609  PMID: 22732241
11.  Safety of Tenofovir Use During Pregnancy: Early Growth Outcomes in HIV-Exposed Uninfected Infants 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(9):1151-1159.
Objective
To evaluate the association of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) use during pregnancy with early growth parameters in HIV-exposed, uninfected (HEU) infants.
Design
US-based prospective cohort study of HEU children to examine potential adverse effects of prenatal TDF exposure.
Methods
We evaluated the association of maternal TDF use during pregnancy with small for gestational age (SGA); low birth weight (LBW, <2.5kg); weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ), length-forage z-scores (LAZ) and head circumference-for-age (HCAZ) z-scores at newborn visit; and LAZ, HCAZ, and WAZ at age one year. Logistic regression models for LBW and SGA were fit, adjusting for maternal and sociodemographic factors. Adjusted linear regression models were used to evaluate LAZ, WAZ and HCAZ by TDF exposure.
Results
Of 2029 enrolled children with maternal antiretroviral information, TDF was used by 449 (21%) HIV-infected mothers, increasing from 14% in 2003 to 43% in 2010. There was no difference between those exposed to combination regimens with versus without TDF for SGA, LBW, and newborn LAZ and HCAZ. However, at age one year, infants exposed to combination regimens with TDF had significantly lower adjusted mean LAZ and HCAZ than those without TDF (LAZ: −0.17 vs. −0.03, p=0.04; HCAZ: 0.17 vs. 0.42, p=0.02).
Conclusions
TDF use during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk for LBW or SGA. The slightly lower mean LAZ and HCAZ observed at age one year in TDF-exposed infants are of uncertain significance but underscore the need for additional studies of growth outcomes after TDF use during pregnancy.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328352d135
PMCID: PMC3476702  PMID: 22382151
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate; perinatal HIV exposure; infant growth; antiretroviral drugs; pregnancy
12.  The Effects of Prenatal Cocaine-Exposure on Problem Behavior in Children 4-10 Years 
Neurotoxicology and teratology  2010;32(4):443-451.
Background
Children prenatally exposed to cocaine may be at increased risk for behavioral problems due to disruptions of monaminergically regulated arousal systems and/or environmental conditions.
Objective
To assess behavioral outcomes of cocaine (CE) and non-cocaine exposed (NCE) children, 4 through 10 years old, controlling for other prenatal drug exposures and environmental factors.
Methods
Low socioeconomic status (SES), primarily African-American children (n = 381 (193 (CE), 188 (NCE)) were recruited from birth. Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) analyses were used to assess the predictive relationship of prenatal cocaine exposure to odds of caregiver reported clinically elevated behavioral problems at 4, 6, 9 and 10 years of age, controlling for confounders.
Results
Prenatal cocaine exposure was associated with increased rates of caregiver reported delinquency (OR=1.93, CI: 1.09-3.42, p<.02). A significant prenatal cocaine exposure by sex interaction was found for delinquency indicating that only females were affected (OR=3.57, CI: 1.67-7.60, p<.001). There was no effect of cocaine on increased odds of other CBCL subscales. Higher prenatal tobacco exposure was associated with increased odds of externalizing symptoms at 4, 9 and 10 years of age. For CE children, those in foster or adoptive care were rated as having more behavior problems than those in biologic mother or relative care. Greater caregiver psychological distress was associated with increased behavioral problems. There were no independent effects of elevated blood lead level on increased behavior problems after control for prenatal drug exposure and other environmental conditions.
Conclusion
Prenatal cocaine and tobacco exposure were associated with greater externalizing behavior after control for multiple prenatal drug exposures, other environmental and caregiving factors and lead exposure from 4 through 10 years of age. Greater caregiver psychological distress negatively affected caregiver ratings of all CBCL domains. Since cocaine and tobacco use during pregnancy and maternal psychological distress have the potential to be altered through prenatal educational, drug treatment and and mental health interventions, they warrant attention in efforts to reduce rates of problem behaviors in children.
doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2010.03.005
PMCID: PMC3586186  PMID: 20227491
behavior; delinquency; prenatal cocaine-exposure; lead exposure; longitudinal
13.  Risk of childhood undernutrition related to small-for-gestational age and preterm birth in low- and middle-income countries 
International journal of epidemiology  2013;42(5):10.1093/ije/dyt109.
Background
Low- and middle-income countries continue to experience a large burden of stunting; 148 million children were estimated to be stunted, around 30–40% of all children in 2011. In many of these countries, foetal growth restriction (FGR) is common, as is subsequent growth faltering in the first 2 years. Although there is agreement that stunting involves both prenatal and postnatal growth failure, the extent to which FGR contributes to stunting and other indicators of nutritional status is uncertain.
Methods
Using extant longitudinal birth cohorts (n = 19) with data on birth-weight, gestational age and child anthropometry (12–60 months), we estimated study-specific and pooled risk estimates of stunting, wasting and underweight by small-for-gestational age (SGA) and preterm birth.
Results
We grouped children according to four combinations of SGA and gestational age: adequate size-for-gestational age (AGA) and preterm; SGA and term; SGA and preterm; and AGA and term (the reference group). Relative to AGA and term, the OR (95% confidence interval) for stunting associated with AGA and preterm, SGA and term, and SGA and preterm was 1.93 (1.71, 2.18), 2.43 (2.22, 2.66) and 4.51 (3.42, 5.93), respectively. A similar magnitude of risk was also observed for wasting and underweight. Low birthweight was associated with 2.5–3.5-fold higher odds of wasting, stunting and underweight. The population attributable risk for overall SGA for outcomes of childhood stunting and wasting was 20% and 30%, respectively.
Conclusions
This analysis estimates that childhood undernutrition may have its origins in the foetal period, suggesting a need to intervene early, ideally during pregnancy, with interventions known to reduce FGR and preterm birth.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyt109
PMCID: PMC3816349  PMID: 23920141
Foetal growth restriction; preterm birth; stunting; wasting; childhood
14.  Methylphenidate and the Response to Growth Hormone Treatment in Short Children Born Small for Gestational Age 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e53164.
Background
Growth hormone (GH) treatment has become a frequently applied growth promoting therapy in short children born small for gestational age (SGA). Children born SGA have a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Treatment of ADHD with methylphenidate (MP) has greatly increased in recent years, therefore more children are being treated with GH and MP simultaneously. Some studies have found an association between MP treatment and growth deceleration, but data are contradictory.
Objective
To explore the effects of MP treatment on growth in GH-treated short SGA children
Methods
Anthropometric measurements were performed in 78 GH-treated short SGA children (mean age 10.6 yr), 39 of whom were also treated with MP (SGA-GH/MP). The SGA-GH/MP group was compared to 39 SGA-GH treated subjects. They were matched for sex, age and height at start of GH, height SDS at start of MP treatment and target height SDS. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels were yearly determined. Growth, serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels during the first three years of treatment were analyzed using repeated measures regression analysis.
Results
The SGA-GH/MP group had a lower height gain during the first 3 years than the SGA-GH subjects, only significant between 6 and 12 months of MP treatment. After 3 years of MP treatment, the height gain was 0.2 SDS (±0.1 SD) lower in the SGA-GH/MP group (P = 0.17). Adult height was not significantly different between the SGA-GH/MP and SGA-GH group (−1.9 SDS and −1.9 SDS respectively, P = 0.46). Moreover, during the first 3 years of MP treatment IGF-I and IGFBP-3 measurements were similar in both groups.
Conclusion
MP has some negative effect on growth during the first years in short SGA children treated with GH, but adult height is not affected.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053164
PMCID: PMC3531371  PMID: 23300884
15.  Expressive and Receptive Language Functioning in Preschool Children With Prenatal Cocaine Exposure 
Journal of pediatric psychology  2004;29(7):543-554.
Objective
To estimate the relationship between severity of prenatal cocaine exposure and expressive and receptive language skills in full-term, African American children at age 3 years.
Methods
Language was assessed at age 3 using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Preschool (CELF-P). The sample included 424 children (226 cocaine exposed, 198 non–cocaine exposed) who received preschool language assessments at age 3, drawn from a cohort of 476 children enrolled prospectively at birth.
Results
Structural equation modeling was used to regress expressive and receptive language as intercorrelated response variables on level of prenatal cocaine exposure, measured by a latent construct including maternal self-report of cocaine use and maternal/infant urine toxicology assays and infant meconium. Results indicated a .168 SD decrease in expressive language functioning for every unit increase in exposure level (95% CI = −.320, −.015; p = .031) after consideration for fetal growth and gestational age as correlated response variables. Receptive language was more modestly related to prenatal cocaine exposure and was not statistically significant. Results for expressive language remained stable with inclusion of the McCarthy general cognitive index as a response variable (expressive language β = −.173, 95% CI = −.330, −.016; p = .031), and with adjustment for maternal age and prenatal exposures to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (expressive language β = −.175, 95% CI = −.347, −.003; p = .046). Additional child and caregiver environmental variables assessed at age 3 were also evaluated in varying statistical models with similar results.
Conclusion
The evidence from this study supports a gradient relationship between increased level of prenatal cocaine exposure and decreased expressive language functioning in preschool-aged cocaine-exposed children.
doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsh056
PMCID: PMC2653083  PMID: 15347702
prenatal cocaine exposure; language functioning; preschool children; CELF-P
16.  Prenatal cocaine exposure: An examination of childhood externalizing and internalizing behavior problems at age 7 years 
SUMMARY
Aim
This study examines the relationship between prenatal cocaine exposure and parent-reported child behavior problems at age 7 years.
Methods
Data are from 407 African-American children (210 cocaine-exposed, 197 non-cocaine-exposed) enrolled prospectively at birth in a longitudinal study on the neurodevelopmental consequences of in utero exposure to cocaine. Prenatal cocaine exposure was assessed at delivery through maternal self-report and bioassays (maternal and infant urine and infant meconium). The Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), a measure of childhood externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, was completed by the child’s current primary caregiver during an assessment visit scheduled when the child was seven years old.
Results
Structural equation and GLM/GEE models disclosed no association linking prenatal cocaine exposure status or level of cocaine exposure to child behavior (CBCL Externalizing and Internalizing scores or the eight CBCL sub-scale scores).
Conclusions
This evidence, based on standardized ratings by the current primary caregiver, fails to support hypothesized cocaine-associated behavioral problems in school-aged children with in utero cocaine exposure. A next step in this line of research is to secure standardized ratings from other informants (e.g., teachers, youth self-report).
PMCID: PMC2641031  PMID: 16584100
cocaine; prenatal exposure; child behavior
17.  Fetal Growth and Risk of Stillbirth: A Population-Based Case–Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001633.
Radek Bukowski and colleagues conducted a case control study in 59 US hospitals to determine the relationship between fetal growth and stillbirth, and find that both restrictive and excessive growth could play a role.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Stillbirth is strongly related to impaired fetal growth. However, the relationship between fetal growth and stillbirth is difficult to determine because of uncertainty in the timing of death and confounding characteristics affecting normal fetal growth.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a population-based case–control study of all stillbirths and a representative sample of live births in 59 hospitals in five geographic areas in the US. Fetal growth abnormalities were categorized as small for gestational age (SGA) (<10th percentile) or large for gestational age (LGA) (>90th percentile) at death (stillbirth) or delivery (live birth) using population, ultrasound, and individualized norms. Gestational age at death was determined using an algorithm that considered the time-of-death interval, postmortem examination, and reliability of the gestational age estimate. Data were weighted to account for the sampling design and differential participation rates in various subgroups. Among 527 singleton stillbirths and 1,821 singleton live births studied, stillbirth was associated with SGA based on population, ultrasound, and individualized norms (odds ratio [OR] [95% CI]: 3.0 [2.2 to 4.0]; 4.7 [3.7 to 5.9]; 4.6 [3.6 to 5.9], respectively). LGA was also associated with increased risk of stillbirth using ultrasound and individualized norms (OR [95% CI]: 3.5 [2.4 to 5.0]; 2.3 [1.7 to 3.1], respectively), but not population norms (OR [95% CI]: 0.6 [0.4 to 1.0]). The associations were stronger with more severe SGA and LGA (<5th and >95th percentile). Analyses adjusted for stillbirth risk factors, subset analyses excluding potential confounders, and analyses in preterm and term pregnancies showed similar patterns of association. In this study 70% of cases and 63% of controls agreed to participate. Analysis weights accounted for differences between consenting and non-consenting women. Some of the characteristics used for individualized fetal growth estimates were missing and were replaced with reference values. However, a sensitivity analysis using individualized norms based on the subset of stillbirths and live births with non-missing variables showed similar findings.
Conclusions
Stillbirth is associated with both growth restriction and excessive fetal growth. These findings suggest that, contrary to current practices and recommendations, stillbirth prevention strategies should focus on both severe SGA and severe LGA pregnancies.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Pregnancy is usually a happy time, when the parents-to-be anticipate the arrival of a new baby. But, sadly, about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage—the early loss of a fetus (developing baby) that is unable to survive independently. Other pregnancies end in stillbirth—fetal death after 20 weeks of pregnancy (in the US; after 24 weeks in the UK). Stillbirths, like miscarriages, are common. In the US, for example, one in every 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth. How women discover that their unborn baby has died varies. Some women simply know something is wrong and go to hospital to have their fears confirmed. Others find out when a routine check-up detects no fetal heartbeat. Most women give birth naturally after their baby has died, but if the mother's health is at risk, labor may be induced. Common causes of stillbirth include birth defects and infections. Risk factors for stillbirth include being overweight and smoking during pregnancy.
Why Was This Study Done?
Stillbirths are often associated with having a “small for gestational age” (SGA) fetus. Gestation is the period during which a baby develops in its mother's womb. Gestational age is estimated from the date of the woman's last menstrual period and/or from ultrasound scans. An SGA fetus is lighter than expected for its age based on observed distributions (norms) of fetal weights for gestational age. Although stillbirth is clearly associated with impaired fetal growth, the exact relationship between fetal growth and stillbirth remains unclear for two reasons. First, studies investigating this relationship have used gestational age at delivery rather than gestational age at death as an estimate of fetal age, which overestimates the gestational age of stillbirths and leads to errors in estimates of the proportions of SGA and “large for gestational age” (LGA) stillbirths. Second, many characteristics that affect normal fetal growth are also associated with the risk of stillbirth, and this has not been allowed for in previous studies. In this population-based case–control study, the researchers investigate the fetal growth abnormalities associated with stillbirth using a new approach to estimate gestational age and accounting for the effect of characteristics that affect both fetal growth and stillbirth. A population-based case–control study compares the characteristics of patients with a condition in a population with those of unaffected people in the same population.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers investigated all the stillbirths and a sample of live births that occurred over 2.5 years at 59 hospitals in five US regions. They used a formula developed by the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network to calculate the gestational age at death of the stillbirths. They categorized fetuses as SGA if they had a weight for gestational age within the bottom 10% (below the 10th percentile) of the population and as LGA if they had a weight for gestational age above the 90th percentile at death (stillbirth) or delivery (live birth) using population, ultrasound, and individualized norms of fetal weight for gestational age. Population norms incorporate weights for gestational age from normal pregnancies and from pregnancies complicated by growth abnormalities, whereas the other two norms include weights for gestational age from normal pregnancies only. Having an SGA fetus was associated with a 3- to 4-fold increased risk of stillbirth compared to having a fetus with “appropriate” weight for gestational age based on all three norms. LGA was associated with an increased risk of stillbirth based on the ultrasound and individualized norms but not the population norms. Being more severely SGA or LGA (below the 5th percentile or above the 95th percentile) was associated with an increased risk of stillbirth.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, when the time of death is accounted for and norms for weight for gestational age only from uncomplicated pregnancies are used, stillbirth is associated with both restricted and excessive fetal growth. Overall, abnormal fetal growth was identified in 25% of stillbirths using population norms and in about 50% of stillbirths using ultrasound or individualized norms. Although the accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by aspects of the study design, these findings suggest that, contrary to current practices, strategies designed to prevent stillbirth should focus on identifying both severely SGA and severely LGA fetuses and should use norms for the calculation of weight for gestational age based on normal pregnancies only. Such an approach has the potential to identify almost half of the pregnancies likely to result in stillbirth.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001633.
The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, provides information on stillbirth
Tommy's, a UK nonprofit organization that funds research into stillbirth, premature birth, and miscarriage and provides information for parents-to-be, also provides information on stillbirth (including personal stories)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about stillbirth (including a video about dealing with grief after a stillbirth)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about stillbirth (in English and Spanish)
Information about the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001633
PMCID: PMC3995658  PMID: 24755550
18.  Investigating maternal risk factors as potential targets of intervention to reduce socioeconomic inequality in small for gestational age: a population-based study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:333.
Background
The major aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal risk factors associated with socioeconomic status and small for gestational age (SGA) might be viable targets of interventions to reduce differential risk of SGA by socioeconomic status (socioeconomic SGA inequality) in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, Canada.
Methods
This study included 59,039 live, singleton births in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (Vancouver) from January 1, 2006 to September 17, 2009. To identify an indicator of socioeconomic SGA inequality, we used hierarchical logistic regression to model SGA by area-level variables from the Canadian census. We then modelled SGA by area-level average income plus established maternal risk factors for SGA and calculated population attributable SGA risk percentages (PAR%) for each variable. Associations of maternal risk factors for SGA with average income were investigated to identify those that might contribute to SGA inequality. Finally, we estimated crude reductions in the percentage and absolute differences in SGA risks between highest and lowest average income quintiles that would result if interventions on maternal risk factors successfully equalized them across income levels or eliminated them altogether.
Results
Average income produced the most linear and statistically significant indicator of socioeconomic SGA inequality with 8.9% prevalence of SGA in the lowest income quintile compared to 5.6% in the highest. The adjusted PAR% of SGA for variables were: bottom four quintiles of height (51%), first birth (32%), bottom four quintiles of average income (14%), oligohydramnios (7%), underweight or hypertension, (6% each), smoking (3%) and placental disorder (1%). Shorter height, underweight and smoking during pregnancy had higher prevalence in lower income groups. Crude models assuming equalization of risk factors across income levels or elimination altogether indicated little potential change in relative socioeconomic SGA inequality and reduction in absolute SGA inequality for shorter height only.
Conclusions
Our findings regarding maternal height may indicate trans-generational aetiology for socioeconomic SGA inequalities and/or that adult height influences social mobility. Conditions affecting foetal and childhood growth might be viable targets to reduce absolute socioeconomic SGA inequality in future generations, but more research is needed to determine whether such an approach is appropriate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-333
PMCID: PMC3518824  PMID: 22569183
19.  Role of adiponectin and leptin on body development in infants during the first year of life 
Background
The control of growth and nutritional status in the foetus and neonate is a complex mechanism, in which also hormones produced by adipose tissue, such as adiponectin and leptin are involved. The aim of this study was to evaluate levels of adiponectin, leptin and insulin in appropriate (AGA) and small for gestational age (SGA) children during the 1st year of life and to correlate these with auxological parameters.
Methods
In 33 AGA and 29 SGA infants, weight, length, head circumference, glucose, insulin, adiponectin and leptin levels were evaluated at the second day of life, and at one, six and twelve months, during which a portion of SGA could show catch-up growth (rapid growth in infants born small for their gestational age).
Results
Both total and isoform adiponectin levels were comparable between AGA and SGA infants at birth and until age one year. These levels significantly increased from birth to the first month of life and then decreased to lower values at 1 year of age in all subjects. Circulating leptin concentrations were higher in AGA (2.1 ± 4.1 ng/ml) than in SGA neonates (0.88 ± 1.03 ng/ml, p < 0.05) at birth, then similar at the 1st and the 6th month of age, but they increased in SGA from six months to one year, when they showed catch-up growth. Circulating insulin levels were not statistically different in AGA and SGA neonates at any study time point. Insulin levels in both AGA and SGA infants increased over the study period, and were significantly lower at birth compared to one, six and 12 months of age.
Conclusions
During the first year of life, in both AGA and SGA infants a progressive decrease in adiponectin levels was observed, while a difference in leptin values was correlated with the nutritional status.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-36-26
PMCID: PMC2851707  PMID: 20298581
20.  Latin American Consensus: Children Born Small for Gestational Age 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:66.
Background
Children born small for gestational age (SGA) experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality than those born appropriate for gestational age. In Latin America, identification and optimal management of children born SGA is a critical issue. Leading experts in pediatric endocrinology throughout Latin America established working groups in order to discuss key challenges regarding the evaluation and management of children born SGA and ultimately develop a consensus statement.
Discussion
SGA is defined as a birth weight and/or birth length greater than 2 standard deviations (SD) below the population reference mean for gestational age. SGA refers to body size and implies length-weight reference data in a geographical population whose ethnicity is known and specific to this group. Ideally, each country/region within Latin America should establish its own standards and make relevant updates. SGA children should be evaluated with standardized measures by trained personnel every 3 months during year 1 and every 6 months during year 2. Those without catch-up growth within the first 6 months of life need further evaluation, as do children whose weight is ≤ -2 SD at age 2 years. Growth hormone treatment can begin in SGA children > 2 years with short stature (< -2.0 SD) and a growth velocity < 25th percentile for their age, and should continue until final height (a growth velocity below 2 cm/year or a bone age of > 14 years for girls and > 16 years for boys) is reached. Blood glucose, thyroid function, HbA1c, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) should be monitored once a year. Monitoring insulin changes from baseline and surrogates of insulin sensitivity is essential. Reduced fetal growth followed by excessive postnatal catch-up in height, and particularly in weight, should be closely monitored. In both sexes, gonadal function should be monitored especially during puberty.
Summary
Children born SGA should be carefully followed by a multidisciplinary group that includes perinatologists, pediatricians, nutritionists, and pediatric endocrinologists since 10% to 15% will continue to have weight and height deficiency through development and may benefit from growth hormone treatment. Standards/guidelines should be developed on a country/region basis throughout Latin America.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-66
PMCID: PMC3163535  PMID: 21771322
21.  Chronic Hypertension Related to Risk for Preterm and Term Small-for-Gestational-Age Births 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2008;112(2 Pt 1):290-296.
Objective:
Evidence relating chronic hypertension to risk of small for gestational age (SGA) births is conflicting. To identify factors associated with SGA that may involve a placental pathogenesis, we related chronic hypertension and other maternal factors that may be markers of endothelial dysfunction to preterm compared with term SGA births.
Methods:
Chronic hypertension, diabetes, body mass index, age, and subfertility were related to risk of term and preterm SGA births in the Danish National Birth Cohort (n=81,008). SGA births were those with a birth weight adjusted for gestational age greater than 2 standard deviations below the mean based on fetal growth curves.
Results:
Risk of preterm SGA increased 5.5-fold (95% CI 3.2-9.4) and risk of term SGA increased 1.5-fold (1.0-2.2) among women with definite chronic hypertension. Risk of preterm SGA but not term SGA was increased among women less than 20 (odds ratio [OR] 2.8, 95% CI: 1.1-6.8) or greater than 36 (OR 2.0 , 95% CI:1.3-3.1) years of age and among those with at least 2 early spontaneous abortions (OR 2.0, CI:1.3-3.3). Smoking, parity, time to pregnancy greater than 12 months, and underweight status were similarly related to term and preterm SGA. Overweight status, obesity, and presence of diabetes were unrelated to either SGA subtype.
Conclusions:
Chronic hypertension, young or older maternal age, and recurrent early spontaneous abortions increased risk for preterm SGA. These factors may involve abnormal placentation and likely represent a pathogenesis distinct from that leading to term SGA.
doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e31817f589b
PMCID: PMC2596352  PMID: 18669725
22.  Growth and adrenal androgen status at 7 years in very low birth weight survivors with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2004;89(4):320-324.
Aims: To evaluate whether 7 year old VLBW (very low birth weight, <1500 g) survivors with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) evince similar growth status and higher adrenal androgen (AA) levels than term controls, and whether AA levels are higher in VLBW children born small for gestational age (SGA) than in non-SGA cases.
Methods: Assessment of height standard deviation score (SDs), body mass index (BMI), and serum androstenedione and dehydroepiandrostenedione sulphate levels in 31 VLBW children with BPD, 33 without BPD (no-BPD group), and 33 term controls.
Results: Lower median (range) height SDs was found in BPD (-1.0 (-3.4 to 1.4) SD) and no-BPD (-0.9 (-2.9 to 2.2) SD) children than in term controls (0.3 (-1.5 to 1.9) SD). Low BMI (below 10th centile) was more common in both the BPD (18 (58%)) and no-BPD (16 (49%)) children compared to term cases (3 (9%)). The median (range) androstenedione levels tended to be higher in the BPD (0.8 (0 to 2.8) nmol/l) and no-BPD (0.8 (0 to 2.3) nmol/l) groups than in term controls (0.6 (0 to 1.8)). Higher median (range) dehydroepiandrostenedione sulphate levels were detected in the no-BPD compared to the term group (0.9 (0 to 4.1) v 0.3 (0 to 2.3) µmol/l). VLBW children born SGA had higher AA levels compared to non-SGA cases.
Conclusions: At 7 years of age, VLBW children are shorter and tend to have higher AA levels than term controls, but VLBW children with and without BPD do not differ from each other in growth or AA status. Those born SGA have higher AA levels compared to non-SGA cases. The consequences of these findings to final height and to later metabolic and vascular health remain to be determined.
doi:10.1136/adc.2002.022699
PMCID: PMC1719878  PMID: 15033838
23.  Cognitive development of term small for gestational age children at five years of age 
AIM—To assess the relative significance for cognitive development of small for gestational age, parental demographic factors, and factors related to the child rearing environment.
METHODS—IQ of a population based cohort of 338 term infants who were small for gestational age (SGA) and without major handicap, and a random control sample of 335 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants were compared at 5 years of age.
RESULTS—The mean non-verbal IQ was four points lower, while the mean verbal IQ was three points lower for the children in the SGA group. The results were not confounded by parental demographic or child rearing factors. However, parental factors, including maternal non-verbal problem solving abilities, and child rearing style, accounted for 20% of the variance in non-verbal IQ, while SGA versus AGA status accounted for only 2%. The comparable numbers for verbal IQ were 30 and 1%. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the cognitive development of SGA children was more sensitive to a non-optimal child rearing environment than that of AGA children. Maternal smoking at conception was associated with a reduction in mean IQ comparable to that found for SGA status, and this effect was the same for SGA and AGA children. The cognitive function of asymmetric SGA was comparable to that of symmetric SGA children.
CONCLUSIONS—Our findings indicate that child cognitive development is strongly associated with parental factors, but only marginally associated with intrauterine growth retardation.


doi:10.1136/adc.83.1.25
PMCID: PMC1718382  PMID: 10868995
24.  Elevated Plasma Norepinephrine After In Utero Exposure to Cocaine and Marijuana 
Pediatrics  1997;99(4):555-559.
Objective
To compare plasma catecholamine concentrations between cocaine-exposed and unexposed term newborns and to determine the relationship between plasma catecholamines and newborn behavior.
Methods
Forty-six newborn infants participating in a prospective study of the neonatal and long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure were studied. Based on maternal self-report, maternal urine screening, and infant meconium analysis, 24 infants were classified as cocaine-exposed and 22 as unexposed. Between 24 and 72 hours postpartum, plasma samples for norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine, dopamine, and dihydroxyphenylalanine analysis were obtained. The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale was administered at 1 to 3 days of age and at 2 weeks of age by examiners masked to the drug exposure status of the newborns.
Results
The cocaine-exposed newborns had increased plasma NE concentrations when compared to the unexposed infants (geometric mean, 923 pg/mL vs 667 pg/mL). There were no significant differences in plasma epinephrine, dopamine, or dihydroxyphenylalanine concentrations. Analysis for the effect of potential confounding variables revealed that maternal marijuana use was also associated with increased plasma NE, although birth weight, gender, and maternal use of alcohol or cigarettes were not. Geometric mean plasma NE was 1164 pg/mL in those infants with in utero exposure to both cocaine and marijuana compared to 812 pg/mL in those exposed to only cocaine and 667 pg/mL in those exposed to neither. Among the cocaine-exposed infants, plasma NE concentration correlated with an increased score for the depressed cluster (r = .53) and a decreased score for the orientation cluster (r = −.43) of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale administered at 1 to 3 days of age. Adjusting for marijuana exposure had no effect on these relationships between plasma NE and the depressed and orientation clusters.
Conclusion
Plasma NE is increased in newborns exposed to cocaine and marijuana. Increased plasma NE is associated with selected neurobehavioral disturbances among cocaine exposed infants at 1 to 3 days of life but not at 2 weeks.
doi:10.1542/peds.99.4.555
PMCID: PMC2365460  PMID: 9093298
25.  Risk of childhood undernutrition related to small-for-gestational age and preterm birth in low- and middle-income countries 
Background Low- and middle-income countries continue to experience a large burden of stunting; 148 million children were estimated to be stunted, around 30–40% of all children in 2011. In many of these countries, foetal growth restriction (FGR) is common, as is subsequent growth faltering in the first 2 years. Although there is agreement that stunting involves both prenatal and postnatal growth failure, the extent to which FGR contributes to stunting and other indicators of nutritional status is uncertain.
Methods Using extant longitudinal birth cohorts (n = 19) with data on birthweight, gestational age and child anthropometry (12–60 months), we estimated study-specific and pooled risk estimates of stunting, wasting and underweight by small-for-gestational age (SGA) and preterm birth.
Results We grouped children according to four combinations of SGA and gestational age: adequate size-for-gestational age (AGA) and preterm; SGA and term; SGA and preterm; and AGA and term (the reference group). Relative to AGA and term, the OR (95% confidence interval) for stunting associated with AGA and preterm, SGA and term, and SGA and preterm was 1.93 (1.71, 2.18), 2.43 (2.22, 2.66) and 4.51 (3.42, 5.93), respectively. A similar magnitude of risk was also observed for wasting and underweight. Low birthweight was associated with 2.5–3.5-fold higher odds of wasting, stunting and underweight. The population attributable risk for overall SGA for outcomes of childhood stunting and wasting was 20% and 30%, respectively.
Conclusions This analysis estimates that childhood undernutrition may have its origins in the foetal period, suggesting a need to intervene early, ideally during pregnancy, with interventions known to reduce FGR and preterm birth.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyt109
PMCID: PMC3816349  PMID: 23920141
Foetal growth restriction; preterm birth; stunting; wasting; childhood

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