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Study Finds Preemies Grow Up To Have Good Lives, Too
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 6, 2006

AKRON, OHIO--Despite what many healthcare professionals might predict, most children who were born prematurely and with extremely low birth weights grow up to rate the quality of their lives as good as those born full-term and at an average weight.

Canadian researchers interviewed over 100 young adults from both groups for a study reportedly published in this week's journal Pediatrics. They found that 62 percent of those in the low-birth-weight group rated their quality of life positively, compared with 72 percent in the normal-birth-weight group.

"Children born with impairments, such as those in our study, have never known life to be any different," the study noted.

According to Tuesday's Akron Beacon Journal, many health professionals said they were skeptical of the study's accuracy, saying those in the low-birth-weight group must have been "in denial" and deceived themselves about the quality of their lives.

However, the newspaper quoted Dr. Diane Langkemp, director of Akron Children's Hospital's neonatal follow-up clinic, as saying the results should cause professionals to take another look at their own expectations.

"One of the key take-away messages here is that there's a difference in how people perceive their own health compared with how health-care professionals view it," she said.

Measuring other areas, such as employment, education and marriage rates, the researchers found no significant differences between the two groups -- with one exception: As adults, the preemies were more likely to be married than the full-term babies.

Related:
Young adults born prematurely say they're doing just fine (Akron Beacon Journal)
Pediatrics

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