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Was general anesthesia for surgery associated with risk of adverse child development in study of siblings?

November 05, 2018

Bottom Line: Surgery under general anesthesia for young children before they started elementary school wasn't associated with increased risk of adverse child development outcomes compared with their biological siblings who didn't have surgery and after accounting for other potential biological and environmental factors. The study of children in Ontario, Canada, included 2,346 sibling pairs where only one sibling had surgery. Child development outcomes were based on a measure used to assess children's readiness to learn in five areas (physical health and well-being, social knowledge and competence, emotional health and maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills and general knowledge). Most children in the study group had a single uncomplicated surgical procedure so the study findings may not be generalizable to children who had lengthy or repeat procedures.

Authors: James D. O'Leary, M.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Canada, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3662)
-end-
Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Want to embed a link to this study in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3662

JAMA Pediatrics

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