Does Neonatal Hypoglycemia interfere with Mid-Childhood Academic Performance?
Exposure to neonatal hypoglycemia, was not significantly linked with inferior educational attainment in mid-childhood among participants at risk of newborn hypoglycemia who were assessed and treated if necessary, says an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
Although fetal hypoglycemia is linked to an increased likelihood of impaired executive and visual-motor function, the consequences for later learning remain unknown. As a result, Rajesh Shah and his colleagues undertook this study to explore the hypothesis that neonatal hypoglycemia is related to educational achievement at the age of 9 to 10 years.
This was a prospective cohort study of children born at risk of hypoglycemia, ranging from mild to late preterm and term. Glucose concentrations in blood and masked interstitial sensors were tested for up to 7 days. Infants with hypoglycemic episodes (blood glucose concentration 47 mg/dL [2.6 mmol/L]) were given treatment to keep their blood glucose concentration at or above 47 mg/dL. Six hundred fourteen newborns were recruited at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand, between 2006 and 2010; 480 were tested between 2016 and 2020 at the age of 9 to 10 years. Hypoglycemia was defined as at least one hypoglycemic event that occurred more than 20 minutes apart, indicating the total of nonconcurrent hypoglycemic and interstitial episodes (sensor glucose concentration 47 mg/dL for 10 minutes).
The key findings of this study are as follow:
At a mean age of 9.4 (SD, 0.3) years, 480 (82%) of 587 eligible children (230 [48%] female) were examined.
Children who were exposed to neonatal hypoglycemia and those who were not did not have significantly different rates of low educational achievement (138/304 [47%] vs 82/176 [48%], respectively; adjusted risk difference, 2% [95% CI, 11% to 8%]; adjusted relative risk, 0.95 [95 percent CI, 0.78-1.15]).
Children who were exposed to neonatal hypoglycemia were significantly less likely to be rated as reading below or well below the curriculum level by teachers (68/281 [24%] vs 49/157 [31%], respectively; adjusted risk difference, 9% [95% CI, 17% to 1%]; adjusted relative risk, 0.72 [95 percent CI, 0.53-0.99; P =.04]).
This study brought out the fact that there is no obvious relationship between neonatal hypoglycemia and mid childhood academic performance.
Shah R, Dai DWT, Alsweiler JM, et al. Association of Neonatal Hypoglycemia With Academic Performance in Mid-Childhood. JAMA. 2022;327(12):1158–1170. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.0992
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