Pregnancy Problem, Smaller Babies Tied to Cerebral Palsy Risk in Study07/10/13
WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Premature and small
babies born to mothers who had preeclampsia during pregnancy are at
increased risk for cerebral palsy, but there is no added risk for
full-term babies who are normal size, according to a new study.
Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition involving high blood
pressure and protein in the urine. It affects 3 percent to 5
percent of pregnant women.
Researchers analyzed data from about 850 children with cerebral
palsy and more than 616,000 children without the neurological
disorder who were born in Norway between 1996 and 2006, for the
study appearing online July 9 in the journal
Children who were both born moderately preterm (between 32 and
36 weeks) or very preterm (less than 31 weeks) and whose mothers
had preeclampsia had a significantly increased risk of cerebral
palsy, if they were also smaller than usual at birth. Babies who
were born at full-term and whose mothers had preeclampsia did not
have an increased risk of cerebral palsy.
The results were the same after researchers adjusted for factors
such as the mother's age, smoking during pregnancy, in vitro
fertilization and sex of the child, according to a journal news
The findings suggest that doctors should take note of early
signs of a smaller-than-average baby in a mother with preeclampsia,
said study authors Kirstin Melheim Strand and Torstein Vik.
Although the study linked mother's preeclampsia and babies'
prematurity and small size with cerebral palsy, it did not
establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
The March of Dimes has more about
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