• infant, low-birth weight;
  • infant, small for gestational age;
  • foetal growth retardation;
  • anxiety disorders;
  • depression

Objective:  The aims were to examine the long-term functional outcome and risk of mood disorders in adulthood in individuals with foetal growth retardation.

Method:  In a prospective cohort study of 7806 individuals aged 20–30 years, using linked data from the Health Survey of Nord-Trøndelag (HUNT-2) and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, we studied the long-term effects of being born with a birth weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age (SGA).

Results:  SGA individuals had lower educational level (OR: 1.33), lower socioeconomic functioning level (OR: 1.77) and more frequent reported mood disorder in adulthood (OR: 1.26). Analyses of a substratum of infants born at term showed almost identical results.

Conclusion:  Foetal growth retardation measured as SGA shows a moderate risk for lower education and socioeconomic level and for anxiety and/or depression in young adulthood. Issues concerning interventions for children at risk should be considered.