27 August 2012

Preterm Birth and Body Composition at Term equivalent Age: a systematic review.

Posted in Body Composition, Scientific

Preterm Birth and Body Composition at Term equivalent Age: a systematic review.

A meta-analysis of scientific studies has been published on the prestigious Pediatrics Journal showing the importance of body composition monitoring in preterm infants.

The study is a meta-analysis of studies published to date presenting body composition results in preterm infants at term equivalent age (TEA), which is the age at which they would have been born had they not been premature.

This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that infants born preterm have a different body composition at TEA compared with infants born at term. They have substantially less FFM with a more similar FM. They have a greater %TBF that in large part is explained by the lesser FFM rather than an increase in FM per se.

The conclusion of the article is that "Preterm infants at TEA are lighter and shorter and have smaller head circumferences but, in addition, have a significant relative deficit in lean tissue. This has immediate implications in terms of their functional reserve and susceptibility to ill health and has far-reaching consequences for their health and risk of noncommunicable disease in later life [these are cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes and obesity]. It is likely that this pattern of body composition is in part a consequence of the nutrition that these infants receive while in hospital."

This study thus demonstrates that "standard anthropometry alone is inadequate to fully assess the growth and nutritional status of preterm infants, suggesting a role for measures of body composition as a routine part of growth monitoring".

The article details are the following:

- Title: "Preterm birth and body composition at term equivalent age: a systematic review and meta-analysis."
- Authors
: Mark J. Johnson, Stephen A. Wootton, Alison A. Leaf and Alan A. Jackson.
- Published in
: PEDIATRICS Volume 130, Number 3, September 2012

The abstract can be seen at the following link: click here