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That males have worse gestation specific mortality compared with females is well known. It seems to be mediated through their relatively greater susceptibility to many complications of prematurity. It is also well known that early postnatal growth is strongly related to neurodevelopmental outcome even when other factors are accounted for. The new information that Frondas-Chauty and colleagues have produced, in a well conducted cohort study, is that male neurodevelopment is much more sensitive to poor growth than female neurodevelopment, and that this is independent of the other known male disadvantages. A further strength of their data is that it was derived from a cohort based on a geographical population. What they have not been able to demonstrate conclusively is whether those males with poorer growth were less well nourished than their peers, though their ability to control for factors that might impair nutrition makes any other explanation unlikely. See page F366
What is it about the admission to neonatal intensive care of late preterm infants that results in 'worse' behaviour at three years of age in children in Northern Ireland? Boylan and colleagues suggest that later behaviour has little to do with the …
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