Health-related quality of life in young adults born small for gestational age: a prospective cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2022, 20 (1), 49-?. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-022-01948-4
Background: Individuals born small for gestational age (SGA) have an increased risk of several adverse health outcomes, but their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) across young adulthood has yet to be studied. The main aim of this study was to investigate if being born SGA at term is associated with poor HRQoL at 32 years of age. A second aim was to explore longitudinal changes in HRQoL from age 20 to 32 years. Methods: In the prospective NTNU Low Birth Weight in a Lifetime Perspective study, 56 participants born SGA and 68 non-SGA control participants completed the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) at age 32 years to assess HRQoL. The SF-36 was also administrated at age 20 and 28 years. Longitudinal changes in the eight SF-36 domains and the two component summaries from 20 to 32 years were analyzed by linear mixed models. In total, 82 adults born SGA and 98 controls participated at least once and were included in the longitudinal analyses. Results: At age 32 years the participants born SGA scored 14.8 (95% CI 4.7 to 25.3) points lower in the SF-36 role-physical domain compared with the control group, i.e. more problems with work or other daily activities due to physical health problems. The longitudinal analyses showed signifcant group diferences from 20 to 32 years in the role-emotional domain, and in the physical and mental component summaries. Among participants born SGA, the physical component summary decreased from age 20 to 28 years (-3.2, 95% CI -5.0 to -1.8), while the mental component summary (6.0, 95% CI 2.9 to 8.6) and role-emotional domain score (19.3, 95% CI 9.9 to 30.3) increased, but there were no further changes from 28 to 32 years. There were no longitudinal changes in the control group from 20 to 32 years. Conclusion: Overall, individuals born SGA at term reported similar HRQoL at age 32 years compared with non-SGA controls. Self-perceived mental health improved during young adulthood among individuals born SGA, while self-perceived physical health deteriorated. The latter fndings warrant further investigation.