Is intrauterine growth retardation a risk factor for child abuse?

J. M. Leventhal, A. Berg, S. A. Egerter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

A case-control study was conducted to determine whether infants with intrauterine growth retardation are at an increased risk of child abuse. Case children were those who had been born at Yale-New Haven Hospital and were reported to the hospital's child abuse committee because they had been physically abused. For each case, one control child was chosen from the hospital's log of births and matched to the case child by age, gender, race of the mother, method of payment for the hospitalization, and the provider of the child's health care at the time of birth. Infants were defined as having intrauterine growth retardation if they had either a ponderal index or a birth weight that was less than the tenth percentile for gestational age using the Kansas City or Denver growth standards. We identified 117 case-control pairs that met those criteria. The matched odds ratios for each of the four definitions of intrauterine growth retardation were less than one, indicating that infants with intrauterine growth retardation are at a decreased risk of abuse. The matched odds ratio for a low ponderal index according to the Kansas City standard was 0.4 (95% confidence interval 0.19, 0.83). This result was not affected by such possible confounding factors as the mother's age. We conclude that infants with intrauterine growth retardation are not at an increased risk and may be at a decreased risk of physical abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-519
Number of pages5
JournalPediatrics
Volume79
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Leventhal, J. M., Berg, A., & Egerter, S. A. (1987). Is intrauterine growth retardation a risk factor for child abuse? Pediatrics, 79(4), 515-519.