Growth Patterns of Large for Gestational Age Children up to Age 4 Years
OBJECTIVE: To determine how growth of large for gestational age (LGA) preterm (PT) children was affected by their PT birth and their LGA status.
METHODS: This is a community-based cohort study of 1302 PT and 489 full-term (FT) children, born 2002 and 2003.
RESULTS: We found that growth in height, weight, and head circumference of LGA PT children was well balanced during infancy and that only weight gain accelerated during subsequent years. This led to high BMIs comparable to those of LGA FT children. Being born both LGA and PT resulted in a median growth at the age of 4 years that was 0.1 SD lower for weight (P = .44), 0.1 SD lower for height (P = .48), and 0.5 SD lower for head circumference compared with LGA FT counterparts (P = .016), whereas BMI at age 4 years was equal. Compared with appropriate for gestational age (AGA) PT children, these measures for LGA PT children were 0.9 SD, 0.6 SD, and 0.4 SD (all P < .001) higher, respectively. That led to the BMI of LGA PT children at age 4 years being significantly higher (0.9 points, ie, 0.7 SD) than that of AGA PT and also higher (0.6 points, ie, 0.4 SD) than that of AGA FT children.
CONCLUSIONS: The growth patterns of LGA PT-born children are distinctly different from other PT or FT children. In particular, we found substantially greater weight gains and relatively higher BMIs among them, which added to their already increased metabolic risks based on their gestational age.
- Accepted December 19, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics