Aim We evaluated the effect of parental anthropometric measures and perinatal and neonatal morbidity of VLBW premature neonates on their anthropometry at age 6–10 years.
Patients and Methods An epidemiological multi-center study. We obtained parental anthropometry, height and weight at age 6–10 years of 334 children born as very low birth weight (VLBW) premature infants. Parental and detailed perinatal and neonatal data of these children were tested for possible association with childhood anthropometry.
Results 1) Maternal and paternal weight SDS and discharge weight SDS were associated with childhood weight SDS (R2 = 0.111, p<0.00001), with paternal weight SDS showing the strongest association; 2) Maternal and paternal height SDS, post-menstrual age at discharge, maternal assisted reproduction, appropriateness of BW to gestational age were associated with childhood height SDS (R2 = 0.208, p<0.00001), with maternal height SDS showing the strongest association; and, 3) paternal weight SDS, discharge weight SDS and surfactant therapy were associated with childhood BMI SDS (R2 = 0.096, p<0.00001), with discharge weight SDS showing the strongest association. At discharge from NICU, 31.1% of VLBW premature infants had discharge weight SDS <−1.88, and are to be considered “SGA”. One quarter of these infants did not catch up at age 6–10 years. Infants who were SGA both at birth and at discharge had the highest risk of being short and underweight as children.
Conclusions Father’s weight has the strongest impact on childhood weight, whereas mother’s height impacts childhood height. Almost one third of VLBW premature infants were SGA by discharge, a quarter of whom did not catch up by age 6–10 years.