The aim of the present study was to investigate cognitive competence, as indicated by school performance, at 16 years of age, in children delivered by vacuum extraction.
This was a register study of a national cohort of 126,032 16 year olds born as singletons, with a vertex presentation, at a gestational age of 34 weeks or older, with Swedish-born parents, delivered between 1990 and 1993 without major congenital malformations. Linear regression was used to analyze mode of delivery in relation to mean scores from national tests in mathematics (40.2; scale, 10-75; SD, 14.9) and mean average grades (223.8; scale, 10-320; SD, 52.3), with adjustment for perinatal and sociodemographic confounders.
Children delivered by vacuum extraction (-0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.76 to 0.26) as well as by nonplanned cesarean section (-0.51; 95% CI, -0.82 to -0.20) had slightly lower mean mathematics test scores than children born vaginally without instruments, after adjustment for major confounders. Mean average grades in children delivered by vacuum extraction were -1.05 (95% CI, -1.87 to -0.23) and -1.20 (95% CI,-2.24 to -0.16) in children delivered by nonplanned cesarean section compared with children born vaginally.
Children delivered by vacuum extraction had slightly lower grades at age 16 years compared with those born by noninstrumental vaginal delivery but very similar to those delivered by nonplanned cesarean. This suggests that vacuum extraction and nonplanned cesarean are equivalent alternatives for terminating deliveries with respect to cognitive outcomes.
2013. Vol. 210, no 4, 361.e1-361.8 p.
cesarean section, cognitive development, mode of delivery, school grades, vacuum extraction