A test administered to babies at 1 and 5 minutes after birth could predict their academic success.
Scientists have claimed that how a baby performs in Apgar health tests immediately after birth dictates how well they will do in school. The Apgar test rates the newborn's health on a scale of one to 10 and how much medical attention the child needs.
AdvertisementResearchers compared the school exam results of 877,000 Swedish teens with the Apgar scores of their infancy.
They found a link between an Apgar score of below seven and lower intelligence in later life.
"It is not the Apgar score in itself that leads to lower cognitive abilities, Dr. the Daily Mail quoted Andrea Stuart, an obstetrician at Central Hospital in Helsingborg, Sweden, as telling Msnbc.
"It is the reasons leading to a low Apgar score (including asphyxiation, preterm delivery, maternal drug use, infections) that might have an impact on future brain function," she added.
The test, developed by American Dr Virginia Apgar in 1952, checks an infant's heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, skin color and reflex irritability (each on a two-point scale). A score of 8 or above is considered healthy.
The largest ever study to look at the link between cognitive ability in teenagers and the Apgar test appears in next month's issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.