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Anthropometry and Body Composition of Preterm Neonates in the Light of Metabolic Programming

Parlapani, Elisavet, Agakidis, Charalampos, Karagiozoglou–Lampoudi, Thomais
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2018 v.37 no.4 pp. 350-359
adiposity, adults, anthropometric measurements, childhood obesity, compensatory growth, neonates, neurodevelopment, nutrition, premature birth, puberty
The improved survival of preterm infants has led to increased interest regarding their health as adults. In the context of metabolic programming, the connection between perinatal and early postnatal nutrition and growth with health in later life has brought to the fore the role of catch-up growth during the first months of preterm infants' lives and its association with body fat and obesity in childhood or puberty. A state-of-the art review was conducted in order to assess the way catch-up is evaluated, in terms of timing and rate. Adequate growth is of major importance for neurodevelopment; however, it may compete with adiposity or metabolic health. Studies based on body composition assessment have given conflicting results as regards the effect of early versus late and rapid versus slow catch-up growth on later health, mainly attributed to the lack of established criteria and definitions. Given that adequate early nutrition is crucial for the neurodevelopment of preterm infants, further studies are needed on the role of catch-up growth in long-term outcome, using generally accepted qualitative and quantitative criteria.