Parental and perinatal factors affecting childhood anthropometry of very-low-birth-weight premature infants: a population-based survey

Imad R Makhoul, Eman Awad, Ada Tamir, Zalman Weintraub, Avi Rotschild, David Bader, Shmuel Yurman, Dan Reich, Yoram Bental, Jeryes Jammalieh, Tatiana Smolkin, Polo Sujov, Ze'ev Hochberg
Acta Paediatrica 2009, 98 (6): 963-9

BACKGROUND: The perinatal-neonatal course of very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants might affect their childhood growth. We evaluated the effect of parental anthropometry and perinatal and neonatal morbidity of VLBW neonates on their childhood growth.

METHODS: We obtained parental anthropometry, height and weight at age 6-10.5 years of 334 children born as VLBW infants. Parental, perinatal and neonatal data of these children were tested for association with childhood anthropometry.

RESULTS: (1) Maternal and paternal weight standard deviation score (SDS) and discharge weight (DW) SDS were associated with childhood weight SDS (R(2)= 0.111, p < 0.00001); (2) Maternal and paternal height SDS, corrected gestational age (GA) at discharge, maternal assisted reproduction and SGA status were associated with childhood height SDS (R(2)= 0.208, p < 0.00001); (3) paternal weight SDS, DW SDS and surfactant therapy were associated with childhood body mass index (BMI) SDS (R(2)= 0.096, p < 0.00001). 31.1% of VLBW infants had DW SDS < -1.88, and are to be considered small for gestational age ('SGA'). One quarter of these infants did not catch up by age 6-10.5 years.

CONCLUSION: Childhood anthropometry of VLBW infants depends on parental anthropometry, postnatal respiratory morbidity and growth parameters at birth and at discharge. Almost one-third of VLBW premature infants had growth restriction at discharge from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a quarter of whom did not catch up by age 6-10.5 years.

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