The data on body composition of late preterm infants, evaluated according to percentile at birth, are scarce. The study aimed to investigate body composition of late preterm infants, according to percentile at birth, and to compare their body composition with that of term newborns.Methods:A total of 122 (99 appropriate and 23 small for gestational age (SGA)) late preterm infants underwent growth and body composition assessment using an air displacement plethysmography system on the fifth day of life and at term. The reference group was composed of 42 healthy, term, breast-fed infants.Results:At birth, appropriate and SGA late preterm infants had lower fat mass and fat-free mass indexes than term newborns. The fat mass and fat-free mass content increased significantly throughout the study, irrespective of percentile at birth. At term, fat mass index, but not fat-free mass index, was higher in both appropriate and SGA late preterm infants than in term newborns.Conclusion:Late preterm infants, irrespective of their percentile at birth, show postnatal growth characterized by predominant fat mass accretion. The potential long-term health clinical implications of these findings need to be further elucidated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health