Is late walking a marker of morbidity? Steering Committee, Oxford Region Child Development Project.
Johnson A., Goddard O., Ashurst H.
We identified 410 infants who were not walking independently by the age of 18 months from among a geographically defined population of 4275 infants who either were born weighing less than 2000 g or had needed admission to the special care nursery in the neonatal period. The outcome of the late walkers was ascertained at the age of 3 years by health visitors using a standard questionnaire. Of the late walkers, 230 (56%) had an associated abnormality diagnosed before the age of 3 years, and in 77 of these children (33%) this was definite or suspected cerebral palsy. The high prevalence of late walking among infants born before 28 weeks' gestation (46%) was almost entirely accounted for by a high incidence of impairment. Late walking is a simple marker of morbidity in this group of infants.