Sequelae of growth failure in appropriate for gestational age, very low-birthweight infants

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1986 Aug;28(4):472-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1986.tb14285.x.


The pattern of growth of 235 very low-birthweight children, whose weights were appropriate for gestational age, was characterised by a significant decline in weight, length and head circumference from birth to discharge from hospital, followed by partial recovery in all three measures of growth by two years corrected age. 29 per cent of the children were below the 10th percentile for weight at two years, and this group had a significantly higher incidence of major disabilities, poorer muscular development, more hypotonia and lowered performance on the psychomotor index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development than their heavier peers. These children's mothers more often perceived them as actively disliking close physical contact, and they were reported by their mothers to have had more infections, minor surgery and chronic otitis media. Taken together, the suboptimal weight-gain, delayed gross motor development and increased maternal perceptions of 'sickliness' and lack of 'cuddliness' in these children are reminiscent of non-organic failure to thrive.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Head / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight* / psychology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / psychology
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Motor Skills
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications