Doctors may want to consider measuring the size of baby heads, because it could indicate their intelligence later in life, according to a study.
Researchers from universities in Europe conducted an experiment to determine if there was a correlation between head size and cognitive functions. The study was published in Molecular Psychiatry,
To do so, the researchers used data from U.K. Biobank, a health resource that stores data from more than 500,000 locals aged 37 to 73. They examined blood, urine and saliva samples from people assessed from 2006 to 2010. The subjects also underwent cognitive and physical assessments.
After analyzing the results, they found that those with larger infant head circumferences were smarter. In fact, they had “higher scores on verbal-numerical reasoning” tests and were significantly more likely to get a university degree.
The researchers also noted better overall health for those with larger heads.
While the researchers said it is not possible to fully discuss the implications of their conclusions, they believe their findings are promising.
“These results,” they said, “should stimulate further research that will be informative about the specific genetic mechanisms of the associations found here, which likely involves both protective and detrimental effects of different genetic variants.”