Early Growth Velocity and Risk of Metabolic Disorders Later in Life

Infants who have suffered a period of under-nutrition or are born pre-term or small-for-gestational-age tend to compensate and grow rapidly once their nutritional conditions improve. Rapid growth early in life may increase the risk of chronic diseases later in life. Experts have identified patterns of growth associated with disease risk which will be assessed as part of a two systematic reviews in this activity.

In a first manuscript, the expert group focused on ‘Postnatal Growth in Preterm Infants and Later Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review’ (K. Ong et al., 2015). They are following up on this publication with another one entitled ‘Postnatal Growth in Term Infants Born Small for Gestational Age Is Associated With Later Neurocognitive and Metabolic Outcomes’. The current activity identifies knowledge gaps and patterns of growth that are associated with risk of disease for SGA infants.

Expected output
In the second systematic review the experts aim to identify and summarise the published evidence on postnatal weight gain and growth in term-born SGA infants. Based on the available evidence on neuro-cognition and metabolic outcomes, the experts will attempt to identify critical postnatal windows during which growth could be influenced to improve these postnatal outcomes.