The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than a half million babies in the U.S. are born prematurely on a yearly basis. Now, new research reveals that early delivery may lead to lower IQs later in life, Time Healthland reported.
In a recent study, Katri Rikkonen, professor of psychology at the University of Helsinki in Finland, analyzed what long-term effects prematurity had on individuals’ cognitive abilities, the news source stated. She found that those who were born extremely early with a weight of less than 3.3 pounds tended to score lower on IQ tests than babies who reached full-term.
Additionally, Rikkonen learned that adults who were born prematurely generally scored 8.4 points lower than full-term individuals, according to the news outlet. Those who were born early tended to require more time when completing study tasks as well. However, despite the differences between the two groups, premature individuals’ early births did not seem to negatively affect the quality of their lives.
"We can see differences, but they are doing fairly well overall," Rikkonen said, as quoted by the news source.
If individuals were born prematurely, they may want to complete an IQ test to see if their early birth had any impact on their cognitive abilities.