Background: Approximately 15 million children are born preterm worldwide yearly.
Objective and hypotheses: To evaluate spontaneous growth during the first 8 years of life.
Hypotheses: Preterm born children have spontaneous recovery of weight and height in the first 8 years of life.
Method: Measurements at birth, 6, 12 and 24 months of corrected age and at recall [6.4±0.5 years (5.28.0)]. Weight, length/height and BMI SDS were calculated (reference of Fenton & Kim until 50 weeks; WHO 20062007 after this age). Data are presented as mean ±SD (range), otherwise stated.
Results: In total of 170 children (97 boys), gestational age (GA) 32.5±2.9 weeks (24.036.7), median birth weight 1772.5 g (range, 5803135), length 41.3±4.6 cm (3049). Fifteen children were extremely preterm (GA<28 weeks), 20 were small for GA (SGA). 32.7% of preterm children born AGA presented extrauterine growth restriction, defined as a difference ≥2SD between birthweight and/or birthlength to 40 weeks post-conception. Median weight SDS at 6, 12 and 24 months of corrected age and at recall were −0.6, −0.2, −0.5 and −0.3 SDS, respectively. Correspondent values for lenght/height SDS were −0.4, −0.3, −0.3 and −0.3 SDS. Children born with less than 32 weeks and children born preterm SGA were leaner and shorter compared with those born after 32 weeks of GA (P<0.01) and those born AGA (P<0.05). Median BMI SDS at recall was 0.0 (−2.75.0). Twelve children (7.1%) were underweight, 6 (3.5%) presented short stature, 27 (15.9%) were overweight and 14 (8.2%) were obese. Longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with less weight gain during the first 2 years of life (r=−0.27; P=0.001), whereas weight gain during the first 2 years of life was associated with BMI at recall (r=0.54; P<0.0001).
Conclusion: Most preterm children recovered weight and length until 6 months of life; rapid weight gain during the first 2 years was a risk factor for overweight/obesity during childhood.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology