Bone mineral content of the mid forearm was measured by photon absorptiometry in 73 white singletons (36 boys, 37 girls) born between 18 and 43 weeks' gestation. Results obtained within two weeks of birth for liveborn infants were used to establish bone mineral deposition curves approximating normal in utero development. Results for stillborn infants indicated a retardation of bone mineralisation relative to liveborn infants. This has important implications concerning previous estimates of daily calcium needs for preterm infants. Eleven liveborn Asian singletons and nine pairs of white twins were examined similarly. With respect to bone mineral content, weight, and crown-heel length, Asians with gestational ages over 35 weeks and twins were closely comparable with their white singleton peers. Asians under 35 weeks tended to be smaller than white singletons of comparable age.
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