Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech

Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8221427

CMAJ. 1993 Nov 15;149(10):1435-40.
Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech.
Campbell JD, Elford RW, Brant RF.
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alta.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To determine whether there is an association between prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech in children.

DESIGN:
Case-control study.

SETTING:
Network of community physicians affiliated with the Primary Care Research Unit, University of Calgary.

SUBJECTS:
Thirty-four practitioners identified 72 children aged 24 to 100 months who had undergone a formal speech-language evaluation and were found to have delayed speech of unknown cause by a speech-language pathologist. For each case subject the practitioners found two control subjects matched for sex, date of birth, sibling birth order and associated health problems.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Rates of prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech.

RESULTS:
The children with delayed speech had a higher rate of ultrasound exposure than the control subjects. The findings suggest that a child with delayed speech is about twice as likely as a child without delayed speech to have been exposed to prenatal ultrasound waves (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence limit 1.5 to 5.3; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION:
An association between prenatal ultrasonography exposure and delayed speech was found. If there is no obvious clinical indication for diagnostic in-utero ultrasonography, physicians might be wise to caution their patients about the vulnerability of the fetus to noxious agents.

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