Growth attainment in extremely preterm children-has it changed over time? the epicure 2 study
Background Children born extremely preterm have poor growth attainment; it is not known whether recent advances in neonatal care have led to an improvement.
Aim To compare SD scores of growth parameters at 35 months corrected age for children born ≤25 weeks in England in 1995 (EPICure) and 2006 (EPICure-2).
Methods Measures of height (ht), weight (wt), head circumference (HC) and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) were taken as part of a neurodevelopmental assessment. Body mass index (BMI) and SD scores were calculated using British Growth Foundation normative data.
Results In 2006 325/586 (55%) of survivors ≤25 week were seen, of whom 98% had growth measures. Weight, height, MUAC and BMI were all significantly improved at 35 months corrected age compared to the 1995 EPICure cohort (table 1). There was no significant difference in HC. Improvement in weight gain was due to greater post-discharge growth.
Conclusion There has been a significant improvement since 1995 in all growth parameters except HC at 35 months corrected age. Improved weight gain at 35 months was attributable to post-discharge catch-up growth.