IGF-I, Growth, and Body Composition in Preterm Infants up to Term Equivalent Age

Dana F. J. Yumani, Harrie N. Lafeber, Mirjam M. van Weissenbruch

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Context: There are concerns that a higher fat mass in the early life of preterm infants is associated with adverse cardiometabolic outcomes in young adulthood. Objective: To investigate the role of IGF-I and growth in determining body composition of preterm infants at term equivalent age. Methods: An observational study was conducted from August 2015 to August 2018. From birth to term equivalent age, IGF-I levels were measured bi-weekly and growth was assessed weekly. At term equivalent age, body composition was assessed through air displacement plethysmography; 65 infants with a gestational age of 24 to 32 weeks were assessed at term equivalent age, of whom 58 completed body composition measurement. The main outcome measures were fat (free) mass (g) and fat (free) mass percentage at term equivalent age. Results: In the first month of life, each 0.1 nmol/L per week increase in IGF-I was associated with a 465 g (SE 125 g) increase in fat free mass. A greater increase in weight SDS in the first month of life was associated with a higher fat free mass percentage (B 200.9; 95% CI, 12.1-389.6). A higher head circumference SDS was associated with more fat free mass (r = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.21-0.65). However, a greater increase in weight SDS up to term equivalent age was associated with a lower fat free mass percentage (B -55.7, SE 9.4). Conclusion: These findings suggest that impaired growth in the first month of life is associated with a less favorable body composition at term equivalent age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • IGF-I
  • body composition
  • growth
  • preterm infants

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