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Preemies Can Catch Up in Vocabulary By Teen Years - featured July 27, 2011

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[Source: Fox News]

By the age of 16, children born very prematurely are able to catch up to kids born at full term in their ability to identify the names of things, according to a new study.

The results are a bit of good news among myriad reports detailing deficits in learning and cognition that are common among children born weeks or months before their due date.

"This leaves one on a high note, that some of these kids do well," said Dr. H. Gerry Taylor, a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, who was not involved in the study.

The Canadian and U.S. researchers compared more than 300 children born early and weighing less than three pounds to 41 children who were born after a full-length pregnancy of 37 weeks.

At ages eight, 12 and 16 years, the kids took several tests to measure their IQ and language skills. At each age, the premature children had IQs 15 to 17 points lower than their full-term counterparts.

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Tags: News of the Week Preemie Newsletter 29 July 2011