Growth and biochemical markers of preterm newborns up to six months of corrected age
Introduction: Due to advances in recent decades in maternal-foetal and neonatal medicine, a greater survival of preterm infants with progressively smaller birth weight and gestational age is observed, increasing the risk of future morbidities on those infants. Among these morbidities, alterations in growth and metabolism are found.
Objective: To analyze the evolution of the growth and the metabolic profile of preterm infants’ cohort from birth at six months of corrected age (CA).
Methods: A descriptive and prospective study with a sample of 107 mothers and 115 preterm infants at birth and 72 preterm infants and 68 mothers at the end of follow-up. Growth (body weight, height, cephalic perimeter) was evaluated at six time points. Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and insulin of premature infants were assessed during three periods, from birth to 6 months of CA. Comparative analysis of the initial sample and the sample that finished the follow-up was used in chi-square family tests. To Evaluate the growth over the 6-month period by using repeated measurements.
Results: Sociodemographic variables and maternal biochemical profile without statistical differences in the comparison of the mothers of the initial sample with those who completed the follow-up. Linear growth of preterm infants at six months of CA, however without recovery of growth. Plasma concentrations of triglycerides (birth = 48.1, 6 months = 151.1) and cholesterol (birth = 82.7, 6 months = 139.9) increased during the evaluations. Glycaemia remained stable (birth 80.4, 6 months = 83.3) and insulin decreased from 11.0 to 4.2.
Conclusion: Growth of preterm infants, although linear, was lower than expected for age. Lipid profiles presented an ascending curve from birth onward. Therefore, this group is prone to delayed growth and to developing cardiovascular changes throughout life.
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