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Design: Cohort study
Patients: All children born in Sweden between 1973 and 1993 who had a single anaesthetic exposure before age 4 years (33514 children).
Comparison: 159 619 matched children who had not been exposed to anaesthesia.
Outcomes: Average (mean) grades in school at age 16 years and IQ test scores at age 18 years obtained at the time of military conscription.
|Outcomes||Mean (95% CI)|
|Mean reduction in school grades at age 16 years compared with unexposed children||0.41% (0.7% to 0.12%)|
|Mean reduction in IQ scores at age 18 years compared with unexposed children||0.97% (0.15% to 1.78%)|
|OR (95% CI)|
|Likelihood of having grades below the 10th centile at age 16 years compared with unexposed children||1.02 (0.98 to 1.07)|
|Likelihood of having no recorded school grades at age 16 years compared with unexposed children||1.29 (1.17 to 1.42)|
Although general anaesthesia under the age of 4 years was associated with a statistically significant reduction in school grades at age 16 years and IQ scores at …
Contributors AJF abstracted the initial paper while TE and TG wrote the commentary.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.