A Comparison of the Zinc, Copper and Manganese Status of Very Low Birth Weight Pre-Term and Full-Term Infants during the First Twelve Months
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During a longitudinal study, hair samples and dietary intake data were collected from 50 pre-term (mean birth weight = 1054 +/- 234 g, mean gestational age = 29 +/- 2.5 weeks) and 60 full-term infants (mean birth weight = 3509 +/- 269 g, mean gestational age = 40 +/- 1 weeks) at 3, 6 and 12 months of age. Mean daily zinc, copper and manganese intakes were calculated using three-day dietary records and test-weight data for the breast-fed infants. Hair samples were analyzed for these elements by instrumental neutron activation analyses. The medium hair zinc concentration in the pre-term group at six months (81 micrograms/g) was lower (p less than 0.05) than that of the full-term group (144 micrograms/g) and was associated with lower mean dietary zinc intakes at 3 and 6 months. At 12 months, the median hair copper (12.5 micrograms/g) and manganese (0.18 micrograms/g) concentrations for the pre-term were lower (p less than 0.05) than those of the full-term infants (Cu = 16.5 micrograms/g; Mn = 0.25 micrograms/g) and were also associated with low dietary copper and manganese intakes.
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