30 years of research on small-for-gestational-age and very-low-birth-weight children

by Maria Stuifbergen 19 May 2014

boy reachingThirty years ago, the first research project on Small-for-gestation-age (SGA)was started at the Department of Public Health and General Practice at NTNU in Trondheim. At the same time, a separate Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) children study was organized at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Health, NTNU.

As for the SGA study, a contract worth $ 686,000 that took effect on June 1, 1984 was the first of its kind between the Faculty of Medicine and an external funding agency. On behalf of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and in cooperation with Uppsala University and the University of Bergen, the faculty planned, organized and conducted a detailed study of mothers through pregnancy and at birth. A follow-up of selected children during their first year of life (1986-89) and again at 5 years of age (1991-94) was later funded by a second contract ($ 618,000).

A vast amount of data are now available from pregnancy and delivery, at birth and through the first to five years of life which can be analysed longitudinally and/or cross sectionally. In addition to clinical and other information regarding development, health, behaviour, aptitudes and skills an overwhelming amount of serum samples are stored in a modernised biobank. Serum samples were collected longitudinally throughout pregnancy and at birth and are available for research purposes. The study is still in progress with new results from later follow-up studies of the mothers and their offspring.

The VLBW study is chaired by  Professors Ann-Mari Brubakk and Jon Skranes, who have amongst others, followed up around 230 of the Scandinavian SGA study in Trondheim at 14-15 at 19-20 years of age. Comprehensive clinical data have been collected in addition to information about physical development, behaviour, mental qualities, aptitudes, education, and psychiatric disorders and symptoms. A cerebral MRI scan has been conducted on both occasions. An interdependent and interdisciplinary cooperation has been established between the SGA and VLBW studies. The young adults are currently being followed up at age 26 years

An international seminar will now be held to mark the first 30 Years of the NICHD Scandinavian Successive Small for Gestational Age (SGA) Births Study.
The seminar will span Monday 16 June and Tuesday 17 June 2014, is sponsored by the Faculty of Medicine, NTNU and organized by the Department of Public Health and General Practice.
Professor Geir W. Jacobsen has since 1998 been the Principal Investigator of the SGA study and will act as host.

The program can be found on http://www.ntnu.no/ism/sgaseminar
More information on the SGA studies can be found on http://www.ntnu.no/ism/forskning/sga

For participation, please contact: Guri.Helmersen@ntnu.no


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