Differential effect of growth on development between aga and sga preterm infants

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Predicting developmental outcomes with growth measurement would be beneficial for primary healthcare or in developing countries with low medical resources. This study aimed to identify physical growth measures that indicate neurodevelopment in very preterm infants. Preterm infants, born at <32 weeks’ gestation or weighing <1500 g, were included. We calculated the changes in z-score of weight, length, and head circumference (HC) at different time points: birth, postmenstrual age (PMA) 35 weeks, and 4 and 18 months corrected age (CA). We examined the relationship between growth and Bayley-III scores using linear regression. Among 122 infants, HC at 4 months CA and HC growth between PMA 35 weeks and 4 months CA showed a positive correlation with Bayley-III scores in appropriate-for-gestational-age infants (AGAs). Weight and length increases between birth and 18 months CA were also associated with AGAs’ development. In small-for-gestational-age infants (SGAs), only birthweight’s z-score was associated with improved neurodevelopmental outcomes. HC at 4 months CA was an important indicator of favorable neurodevelopmental outcomes, and head growth spurt between PMA 35 weeks and 4 months CA contributed to this benefit in preterm AGAs. The period and indices should be monitored differently for SGAs and AGAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3022
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Growth
  • Head circumference
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Preterm infant
  • Small for gestational age

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