Disproportionate alterations in body composition of large for gestational age neonates

J Pediatr. 2001 Jun;138(6):817-21. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2001.114018.


Objective: The objective was to compare dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry-measured body composition between large (LGA) and appropriate (AGA) birth weight for gestational age neonates.

Study design: LGA term infants (n = 47) with birth weights > or =4000 g were compared with 47 gestational age-matched AGA infants; 11 LGA infants were born to mothers with gestational (9) or pregestational diabetes (2). Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans were performed at 1.8 +/- 1.0 days after birth.

Results: Body weight and length were the dominant predictors of body composition in LGA and AGA neonates. However, LGA neonates had significantly (P <.001, all comparisons) higher absolute amounts of total body fat, lean body mass, and bone mineral content and had significantly (P <.001, all comparisons) higher proportions of total body fat and bone mineral content but lower lean body mass as a percent of body weight. The changes for total body fat and lean body mass as a percent of body weight were greatest (P <.001) in LGA infants whose mothers had impaired glucose tolerance.

Conclusion: LGA neonates have higher body fat and lower lean body mass than AGA infants. Impaired maternal glucose tolerance exaggerated these body composition changes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Anthropometry
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Postmature*