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Low IQ related to bed-wetting

Children who bed-wet till the age of 7 have a lower IQ than their peers.

Low IQ related to bed-wetting

Children who bed-wet till the age of 7 have a lower IQ than their peers. Bed-wetting is a common problem among children. Up to 22 percent of boys and 15 percent of girls wet their beds till the age of 7. Bed-wetting is a genetic phenomenon occurring due to a delayed maturation of the central nervous system. Children who wet the bed are thought to either have difficulty waking up when their bladders fill, or to have trouble suppressing the reflex to urinate while they are sleeping. It has been seen that the intellectual functioning of children who wet their bed is less than those who don't. To assess the relationship between bed-wetting and intellectual functioning, and soiling and daytime wetting, researchers at the University of Bristol, studied more than 6,000 children ranging from the age of 7 to 9. Data on wetting and soiling were obtained from a questionnaire completed by parents. The results indicated that children who wet their beds had lower IQ scores than healthy subjects. There were fewer differences in IQ scores between children with and without soiling or daytime wetting. Co-occurring wetting and soiling were associated with lower IQ scores than isolated soiling, daytime wetting, or bed-wetting, but this was mostly attributable to an overrepresentation of children with an IQ of less than 70 in the co-occurrence group. The link was strongest for performance IQ, which represents practical, or 'fluid,' intelligence and reflects innate intellectual abilities that are thought to be largely influenced by neurologic and biologic factors rather than knowledge that is acquired and influenced by education, family and social context. The immaturity of the central nervous system underlies both lower IQ scores and bed-wetting. More research is needed to better understand the intellectual functioning of children who wet their beds, and to determine if bedwetting is also related to learning and academic problems.
Pediatrics,
August 2007
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