Educational Achievement to age 11 in Children Born at Late Preterm and Early Term Gestations

Clare Copper*, Amanda Waterman, Cheti Nicoletti, Katherine Pettinger, Lee Sanders, Liam Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the effects of being born late preterm (LPT, 34-36 weeks’ gestation) or early term (37-38 weeks) on children’s educational achievement between 5 and 11 years-old.
Design: A series of observational studies of longitudinal linked health and education data.
Setting: The Born-in-Bradford (BiB) birth cohort study, which recruited mothers during pregnancy between 2007 and 2011.
Participants: The participants are children born between 2007 and 2011. Children with missing data, looked-after-children, multiple births, and births post-term were excluded. The sample size varies by age according to amount of missing data, from 7860 children at age 5 to 2386 at age 11 (8031 at age 6, and 5560 at age 7).
Main Outcome Measures: Binary variables of whether a child reached the ‘expected’ level of overall educational achievement across subjects at the ages of 5, 6, 7 and 11 years. The achievement levels are measured using standardized teacher assessments and national tests.
Results: Compared to full-term births (39-41 weeks), there were significantly increased adjusted odds of children born LPT, but not early term, of failing to achieve expected levels of overall educational achievement at ages 5 (aOR:1.72,95% CI:1.34 to 2.21) and 7 (aOR:1.46,95% CI:1.08 to 1.97) but not at age 11 (aOR:1.51,95% CI:0.99 to 2.30). Being born LPT still had statistically significant effects on writing and mathematics at age 11.
Conclusions: There is a strong association between LPT and education at age 5, which remains strong and statistically significant through age 11 for maths but not for other key subjects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Early online date18 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sept 2023

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