Early Life Factors Predict Abnormal Growth and Bone Accretion at Prepuberty in Former Premature Infants With/Without Neonatal Dexamethasone Exposure
Additional Document Info
Growth, bone, and body composition were studied at prepuberty in former very low birth weight (VLBW) infants who received dexamethasone (DEX) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) compared with VLBW infants without DEX and term-born infants (TERM) to identify early life risk factors for later low bone mass. Children (56 girls/63 boys, 5-10 y) previously studied in neonatal life were recruited into three groups: VLBW + DEX, VLBW - DEX, and TERM children. Anthropometry and whole body bone, fat, and lean mass were measured. At prepuberty, the average height and weight for VLBW + DEX group were significantly lower than that for VLBW - DEX and TERM. Both VLBW groups had lower bone mass even adjusted for height and lean mass than TERM children and lower lean mass both total and adjusted for height. Z-scores for whole body bone mineral content below -1.5 occurred in 27.9% of VLBW + DEX children. The key factors for low bone mass were earlier gestational age and having BPD with DEX in neonatal life. In former VLBW infants, growth and bone mass attainment before puberty can be predicted from early life variables. VLBW + DEX children may be protected from overweight, but are at risk for short stature and low bone mass.