First year growth among very low birth weight infants

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Apr;99(4):556-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01667.x. Epub 2010 Jan 20.


Aim: The aim of this study was to describe first-year growth among very low birth weight infants and the effect of growth restriction at hospital discharge on first year growth.

Method: Anthropometric measures and background information for 118 very low birth weight infants were collected from medical records. Z-scores were calculated based on recent Norwegian growth references.

Results: Significant catch-up growth for weight and length was observed during the first year with mean z-score change (SD) of 0.40 (1.05) and 1.01 (1.25) respectively. However, the very low birth weight infants remained lighter and shorter than full-term peers until 12 months corrected age with mean z-score of -0.93 (1.09) and -0.48 (1.06) respectively. Head circumference followed a normal growth pattern after 2 months. Infants discharged from hospital as growth restricted had increased catch-up in weight and length, but remained smaller than infants not subjected to early growth restriction and full-term peers. Multiple regression showed that weight below the 10th percentile at discharge is important for weight and length during the first year of life.

Conclusion: Very low birth weight infants showed catch-up growth during the first year, but their weight and length remained less than full-term peers. Growth deficiencies were more pronounced among infants subjected to early growth restriction, despite increased catch-up growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Female
  • Head / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Norway
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Gain