Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Early term, preterm and post-term gestation births increase the risk of special educational needs during schooling

Statistics from



Does preterm delivery at any time increase the risk of later special educational needs (SENs)?


407 503 eligible school children younger than 19 years of age attending mainstream schools, special schools and school classes and units within mainstream schools in Scotland. Children who could not be linked to their obstetric data were excluded.


School children resident in 19 Local Authority areas in Scotland; recruited from 2005 school census data.

Prognostic factors

Obstetric complications and course; individual school census record was linked to mother's data from the Scottish Morbidity Record that collects information on all women discharged from Scottish maternity hospitals including maternal and infant characteristics, clinical management and obstetric complications.


Incidence of SEN collated from information in the school census.



Retrospective cohort study.

Follow-up period

Birth to 19 years old.

Main results

18 527 (5%) of sampled school children were born preterm (<37 weeks gestation), 58 611 (16.2%) were born by caesarean section and 10 404 (2.8%) had an Apgar score less than eight. The median birth weight was 3400 g. 17 …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding NHS Health Scotland.


  • Competing interests None.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.