High survival rate among children who have suffered from growth restriction

December 18, 2018

Almost all children live to see their eighteenth birthday despite a severe growth restriction, as long as they have survived their first month during infancy. This is indicated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which is published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Reducing child mortality is one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, but the work is progressing slowly. Improved maternal health and a desire to reduce growth restriction during the foetal period could be two ways decreasing child mortality. Growth restriction in foetuses has previously been associated with an increased risk of stillbirth and increased mortality in the neonatal period, but whether or not growth restriction also has an affect on long-term survival in children is unclear.

In the study in question, the researchers analysed the relationship between severe or moderate growth restriction and the risk of death later in childhood in a total of 3.8 million live-born children and 2.8 million siblings born in Sweden between 1973 and 2012.

The researchers examined the mortality in the range of one month up to eighteen years of age by comparing children who had suffered from growth restriction with children experiencing normal growth. Siblings were also compared, where one of them had been subject to growth restriction. Sibling comparisons make it possible to take into account a variety of environmental factors, such as socioeconomic factors and lifestyle as well as genetic factors from the mother, which may be important with regard to child mortality.

Approximately 1 out of 105 children with severe growth restriction died before reaching their eighteenth birthday, compared to 1 out of 202 with moderate growth restriction and 1 out of 289 children with normal development.

"This corresponds to 2.6 times or a 160 per cent increase in the risk of death among children with severe growth restriction, both when compared with all children experiencing normal growth and compared with siblings who had normal foetal growth. Moderate growth restriction during the foetal period was also a risk factor for death before reaching eighteen years of age, with these children having a 37 per cent increased risk," says Jonas F. Ludvigsson, professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, and the study's lead author.

The highest risk of death was observed during the first year for children suffering from growth restriction, where infections and neurological disorders were the most common causes of death.

"Growth restriction during pregnancy is not only dangerous for the newborn's health but has also been associated with an increased risk of death later in childhood. But as a parent, you should still remember that even among children who have experienced severe growth restriction and made it past the first month, 99 out of 100 will get to celebrate their eighteenth birthday regardless," says Jonas Ludvigsson.

The study was funded with the support of Forte and Karolinska Institutet.
-end-
Publication: "Small for gestational age and risk of childhood mortality: A Swedish population study". Jonas F Ludvigsson, Donghao Lu, Lennart Hammarström, Sven Cnattingius and Fang Fang. PLOS Medicine, online 18 December 2018.

Karolinska Institutet

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.