Prenatal risk factors for mental retardation in young children
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Prenatal risk factors for mental retardation in young children

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      In a prospective study, prenatal risk factors for mental retardation were identified in two large samples of white and black children followed from gestation to age 7 years in the Collaborative Perinatal Project. Important antecedents of severe and mild retardation include both characteristics of the family and complications of pregnancy.For the severely retarded, a higher frequency of maternal seizures was a major discriminator in comparisons with higher IQ groups. For a subgroup of the severely retarded that was free of major neurological disorders, maternal urinary tract infection in pregnancy was an important independent risk factor.Major prenatal discriminators between the mildly retarded and children at higher IQ levels were indices of maternal intelligence, education, socioeconomic status, and amount of prenatal care received.These and other risk factors found in the samples studied suggest preventive strategies that could reduce the incidence of cognitive deficit in children.
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