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Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood: the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study

Pearce, Mark S., Mann, K. D., Singh, Gurmeet and Sayers, Susan M. (2014). Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood: the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease,5(3):240-247.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 11436xPUB47
Title Birth weight and cognitive function in early adulthood: the Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study
Author Pearce, Mark S.
Mann, K. D.
Singh, Gurmeet
Sayers, Susan M.
Journal Name Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 5
Issue Number 3
ISSN 2040-1744   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84899923212
Start Page 240
End Page 247
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.
Keywords birth cohort
birth weight
cognition
Indigenous populations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S2040174414000063   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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