The optimization of the nutrition of low birth weight premature neonates has become a major concern given the improvement in survival for these children. The goal of the recommended nutritional intakes is to reach a quantitative and qualitative growth similar to in utero growth.
The objectives of this study were to analyze the anthropometric data at birth and near term in a cohort of premature neonates and to try to determine risk factors of postnatal hypotrophy.
Population and methods We conducted a retrospective study over 1 year (2006) in the neonatology unit of the Children’s Hospital of Rabat, Morocco. The inclusion criteria was a gestational age under 37 weeks. Data were collected at admission, during hospitalisation and at discharge, and a standardised form was filled for each child. We defined postnatal hypotrophy (PNH) as an hypotrophy at discharge (weight<10th centile according to the Audipog reference curve) in neonates with birth weight appropriate for gestational age.
Results 80 neonates were included. 44 had PNH. In univariate analysis, factors significantly associated with PNH were: birth weight, gestational age, length of hospitalisation, the occurrence of nosocomial infection, of enteropathy, pre-eclampsia, neonatal asphyxia and anemia.
Conclusion Our study shows that half of the low birth weight premature neonates were hypotrophic near term. The causes may be various: nutrition is not optimal and intercurrent factors may play a major role such as nosocomial infection.