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How well can poor child health and development be predicted by data collected in early childhood?

Straatmann, VS; Pearce, A; Hope, S; Barr, B; Whitehead, M; Law, C; Taylor-Robinson, D; (2018) How well can poor child health and development be predicted by data collected in early childhood? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , 72 (12) pp. 1132-1140. 10.1136/jech-2018-211028. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Identifying children at risk of poor developmental outcomes remains a challenge, but is important for better targeting children who may benefit from additional support. We explored whether data routinely collected in early life predict which children will have language disability, overweight/obesity or behavioural problems in later childhood. METHODS: We used data on 10 262 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) collected at 9 months, 3, and 11 years old. Outcomes assessed at age 11 years were language disability, overweight/obesity and socioemotional behavioural problems. We compared the discriminatory capacity of three models: (1) using data currently routinely collected around the time of birth; (2) Model 1 with additional data routinely collected at 3 years; (3) a statistically selected model developed using a larger set of early year's risk factors for later child health outcomes, available in the MCS-but not all routinely collected. RESULTS: At age 11, 6.7% of children had language disability, 26.9% overweight/obesity and 8.2% socioemotional behavioural problems. Model discrimination for language disability was moderate in all three models (area under the curve receiver-operator characteristic 0.71, 0.74 and 0.76, respectively). For overweight/obesity, it was poor in model 1 (0.66) and moderate for model 2 (0.73) and model 3 (0.73). Socioemotional behavioural problems were also identified with moderate discrimination in all models (0.71; 0.77; 0.79, respectively). CONCLUSION: Language disability, socioemotional behavioural problems and overweight/obesity in UK children aged 11 years are common and can be predicted with moderate discrimination using data routinely collected in the first 3 years of life.

Type: Article
Title: How well can poor child health and development be predicted by data collected in early childhood?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2018-211028
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2018-211028
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: child health, health inequalities, health services, public health policy, social epidemiology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057329
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