John Goddeeris, professor of economics. Image credit: Michigan State University
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Most survivors of extremely low birth weight grow up to become productive adults, according to a study led by a Michigan State University economist.
Extremely low birth weight is defined as less than about 2.2 pounds. About one in 200 babies is born at that size. But because relatively few survived prior to the 1980s, few studies have examined their adult outcomes.
The study led by MSU’s John Goddeeris found that while these survivors were somewhat less productive as adults, on average, than normal-weight subjects, the productivity deficits were not very large. The study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, measured education and salary levels.
“Our findings suggest that the long-term economic impact of being born at extremely low birth weight is pretty modest for typical survivors,” said Goddeeris, professor of economics. (more…)