Educational achievement of children with selected major congenital anomalies and associated factors: a Finnish registry-based study

Zahra Roustaei, Anna Heino, Sonja Kiuru-Kuhlefelt, Joan K Morris, Svetlana V Glinianaia, Ester Garne, Maria Loane, Judith Rankin, Mika Gissler

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Abstract

Background
Children with major congenital anomalies may be at risk of poor educational outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the educational achievement of children born with major congenital anomalies compared to children without major congenital anomalies in relation to sociodemographic factors.

Methods
We performed a registry-based study including 401,544 children in Finland, graduates of the compulsory school who applied to secondary education. We used health data from the Finnish Register of Congenital Malformations for children born from 1995 to 2002 linked with education data from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. We used generalised linear regression to compare the mean grade differences of children with specific major congenital anomalies and ‘All anomalies’ subgroup (major congenital anomalies, chromosomal syndromes, and multiple anomalies) with reference children.

Results
Children with major congenital anomalies were less likely to apply for further education than reference children (88.0% vs 96.8%; OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 3.92-4.36). For most non-chromosomal congenital anomalies, children born with congenital anomalies had similar educational achievement to the reference children. For the ‘All anomalies’ subgroup, children with congenital anomalies had lower educational achievement than reference children. Among children with congenital anomalies, male sex, lower maternal educational levels, and younger maternal age were associated with lower educational achievement.

Conclusions
For children applying to further education, most non-chromosomal congenital anomalies were not associated with lower educational achievement. Nevertheless, efforts are needed to improve educational achievement in children with major congenital anomalies associated with maternal sociodemographic background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1034
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume33
Issue number6
Early online date18 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EUROlinkCAT (Establishing a linked European Cohort of Children with Congenital Anomalies) project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation pro-gramme under grant agreement No. 733001 (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en). Open access funded by Helsinki University Library.

Funding Information:
EUROlinkCAT (Establishing a linked European Cohort of Children with Congenital Anomalies) project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 733001 ( https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en ). Open access funded by Helsinki University Library.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Major congenital anomaly
  • Educational achievement
  • Sociodemographic factor
  • Registry-based study

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