Preterm appropriate for gestational age infants: size at birth explains subsequent growth


E-L Funkquist, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel: +4618321274 |
Fax: +46186115583 |


Aim:  The aim was to evaluate growth and breastfeeding up to 18 months corrected age (CA) among preterm appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants whose mothers initiated breastfeeding during the infants’ hospital stay.

Methods:  One hundred and twenty-seven preterm AGA infants with a median birth weight of 2320 (769–3250) g and gestational age 34.29 (25.00–35.86) weeks were evaluated up to a CA of 18 months. A retrospective, descriptive and comparative design was used. Data were obtained by chart review of hospital medical records and a questionnaire completed by the mothers.

Results:  The changes in standard deviation scores (SDS) during the infants’ hospital stay were −0.9 for weight, −0.3 for length and −0.5 for head circumference (HC). Infants with higher SDS at birth showed more negative changes from birth to discharge. Median increments in SDS from discharge to a CA of 2 months were as high as, or higher than, the loss from birth to discharge.

Conclusion:  Preterm AGA infants with higher SDS for weight, length and HC at birth are at higher risk of inadequate growth during their hospital stay.