According to a new review of 41 different studies, researchers now believe that they have identified some risk factors that place babies at higher risk for mental health problems in the future. Cited in an article on, the review team claims that a very low birth weight is a significant factor.

The Span of the Study

The research team gathered data collected through 41 different studies, all conducted between the years of 1990 and 2016. Thanks to the broad time span and the range of data collected, they could see some patterns and draw some conclusions to aid doctors in understanding how events in early life could possible predispose someone towards mental problems in the future.

Babies and Birth Weights

The data inspected by the team consisted of information about babies from Canada, the United States, and 10 other nations around the world. Included in the study were 11,000 babies with a normal birth weight and 2,700 babies with very low birth weight. A birth weight well below normal would be less than 1,000 grams, or around 2 pounds. This low weight is more likely for premature babies or multiples, such as twins or triplets.

Conclusions and Concerns

After reviewing the information, researchers concluded that babies with extremely low birth weights are at higher risk in several areas of mental health. When they reach childhood, these little ones are more susceptible to issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. As they grow, children with low birth weights may continue to struggle with ADHD and social adjustment issues well into the teenage years.

Adults who had a very low birth weight are more at risk than adults with a normal birth weight when it comes to mental problems such as social anxiety, depression, and other types of anxiety. The data reviewed in the study indicates that adults with extremely low birth weights often seem insecure and function on a lower level socially.

Singapore Children at Risk

The study is applicable to mental health in Singapore, as well as in other parts of the world. The research does not indicate that every baby with an extremely low birth weight will develop mental problems; it merely shows that the risk is higher. According to study authors, there is no direct cause and effect here, simply an association drawn from facts. Still, parents of children with extremely low birth weights may need to keep a closer eye on their children’s mental health. Being aware of the risks can help you identify any warning signs early, so that you can seek treatment for your child before their struggles become intense.

Early Treatment

When you notice some signs of anxiety, depression, ADHD, or social problems with your child, schedule a visit with a psychiatrist in Singapore. The caring professionals at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic can evaluate your child and let you know the status of your young one’s mental health. If there is an issue, our clinic provides highly effective treatment options, ranging from medication to EMDR, hypnosis, cognitive behavioural modification, and art therapy in Singapore. Call Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic today to ask questions or to arrange a visit.

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Source: WebMD, 13 February, 2017