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Body composition of preterm infants during infancy

Lookup NU author(s): David Rawlings, Richard Cooke, Dr Keith Faulkner, Dr Sarah Robinson


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Aims-To examine body composition in preterm infants. Methods-Body composition was measured by dual energy alpha-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at hospital discharge, term, 12 weeks, and at 6 and 12 months corrected age in 125 infants (birthweight less than or equal to 1750 g, gestational age less than or equal to 34 weeks). Results-Body weight derived by DEXA accurately predicted that determined by conventional scales. In both sexes lean mass (LM), fat mass (FM), %FM, bone area (BA), bone mineral mass (BMM), and bone mineral density (BMD) increased rapidly during the study; significant changes were detectable between discharge and term. At 12 months, LM, BA, and BMM, but not FM, %FM, or BMD were greater in boys than in girls. Corrected for age, LM was less than those of the reference term infant; FM and %FM were similar; BMM was greater. Corrected for weight, LM was similar to those of the reference infant, while the FM and %FM of study infants were slightly greater. Conclusions-DEXA accurately measures body mass. Body composition in preterm boys and girls differs. Interpretation of DEXA values may depend on whether age or body weight are regarded as the appropriate reference.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rawlings DJ, Cooke RJ, McCormick K, Griffin IJ, Faulkner K, Wells JCK, Smith JS, Robinson SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal & Neonatal Edition: Perinatal Medicine

Year: 1999

Volume: 80

Issue: 3

Pages: F188-F191

Print publication date: 01/05/1999

ISSN (print): 1359-2998

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: BMJ Group