(HealthDay News) – Adolescents born with extremely low birth weight (ELBW) in the 1990’s assess their current health and well-being similarly to teens born at normal birth weight but report less risk taking.

Maureen Hack, MBChB, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues studied responses from 168 ELBW children and 115 normal-birth-weight (NBW) controls to the Child Health and Illness Profile-Adolescent Edition completed at age 14 years and the Child Edition of the survey completed at age 8.

The researchers found that, in the domains of Satisfaction, Comfort, Resilience, Achievement, and Disorders, ELBW adolescents rated their health as similar to that of NBW adolescents. However, ELBW teens reported significantly more risk avoidance than NBW teens and significantly less physical activity in the subdomain of Resilience. They also reported more long-term surgical and psychosocial disorders in the subdomain of Disorders. Both groups of children reported a similar decrease in general health between the ages of 8–14 years.

“ELBW adolescents report similar health and well-being compared with NBW controls but greater risk avoidance,” the authors conclude. “Both ELBW and NBW children rate their general health to be poorer at age 14 than at age 8 years, possibly due to age-related developmental changes.”

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