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.