Executive function and behaviour problems in school-age children born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia

Wai Tong Darren DAI, Nike FRANKE, Christopher J. D. MCKINLAY, Trecia A. WOULDES, Gavin T. L. BROWN, Rajesh SHAH, Samson NIVINS, Jane E. HARDING, for the Children With Hypoglycaemia and Their Later Development (CHYLD) Study Group

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Abstract

Aim: To examine the relationship between neonatal hypoglycaemia and specific areas of executive function and behaviour in mid-childhood. 

Method: Participants in a prospective cohort study of infants born late preterm or at term at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia were assessed at 9 to 10 years. We assessed executive function using performance-based (Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery) and questionnaire-based (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) measures and behaviour problems with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Data are reported as adjusted odds ratio (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals, and standardized regression coefficients. 

Results: We assessed 480 (230 females, 250 males; mean age 9 years 5 months [SD 4 months, range 8 years 8 months–11 years 0 months]) of 587 eligible children (82%). There were no differences in performance-based executive function between children who did and did not experience neonatal hypoglycaemia (blood glucose <2.6 mmoL/L). However, children who experienced hypoglycaemia, especially if severe or recurrent, were at greater risk of parent-reported metacognition difficulties (aOR 2.37–3.71), parent-reported peer (aOR 1.62–1.89) and teacher-reported conduct (aOR 2.14 for severe hypoglycaemia) problems. Both performance- and questionnaire-based executive functions were associated with behaviour problems. 

Interpretation: Neonatal hypoglycaemia may be associated with difficulties in specific aspects of parent-reported executive functions and behaviour problems in mid-childhood. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1237
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Volume65
Issue number9
Early online dateJan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Citation

Dai, D. W. T., Franke, N., McKinlay, C. J. D., Wouldes, T. A., Brown, G. T. L., Shah, R., Nivins, S., Harding, J. E., & for the Children With Hypoglycaemia and Their Later Development (CHYLD) Study Group. (2023). Executive function and behaviour problems in school-age children born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 65(9), 1226-1237. https://doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.15520

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