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Premature Babies Risk Mental Health Problems, Say Experts - featured June 27 2011

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[Source: Medical News Today]

Premature or low birthweight babies are more than three times more likely to suffer from anxiety and mood disorders in adolescence than full-term infants, according to psychologists at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Stephen Wood, working with co-investigators at the University of Melbourne in Australia, conducted a meta-analysis of ten studies into mental health outcomes in children born prematurely.

The research, published in Psychological Medicine, found that youngsters who were born early or were underweight at birth were at 'significantly increased risk' of mental health disorders, particularly during their teens.

In the general population psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychosis often emerge around puberty although these may be preceded by emotional and behavioural disturbances in childhood.

'As more and more of these babies survive and their physical problems are combated, we are seeing an apparent increase in mood and anxiety disorders,' explains Professor Wood. 'It would appear that the earlier a baby is born the more chance there is of problems of this nature occurring.'

Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today

Tags: News of the Week Anxiety School Psychology Newsletter 1 July 2011