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Small for gestational age boys at increased risk of later psychiatric hospitalisation

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Is being born preterm or small for gestational age, or both, associated with psychiatric hospitalisation in adolescence and early adulthood?


155 944 boys and 148 281 girls who were registered in the Swedish Medical Birth Register and the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register. Participants had to be alive and living in Sweden at age 13 years. Exclusions: children with missing values on gestational length or birth weight, whose mother or father could not be identified or with very high birth weights compared with length of gestation.


Sweden; registry data collected on births from 1973 to 1975 and on discharge diagnoses from 1987 to 1996.

Risk factors:

Preterm birth (less than 37 weeks’ gestation) or being small for gestational age (SGA, birth weight less than 2 SDs below the mean birth weight defined by Swedish external standards from 1996), or both. Adjustments were made for medical diagnoses related to delivery or pregnancy. Maternal age, parity of the mother, parental educational level, marital status of the mother and parental country of origin …

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  • Source of funding: Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) and the Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden.

  • ▸ Additional notes, a reference list and a table are published online only at


  • Competing interests: None.