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To assess growth patterns of 9‐year‐old children, some of whom had intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
75 9‐year‐old children (41 were IUGR infants) were weighed and measured at birth, at 1 year, at 2 years and at 9 years of age. Using general linear models for continuous data, changes in weight z scores were used to quantify growth rate between birth and 9 years of age.
IUGR children were smaller at birth (weight z score –2.1 v 0.2 in normal children; p<0.001) but showed a greater increase in their weight between birth and 9 years (change of weight z score 1.5 v 0.4 in normal children; p=0.001). At the age of 9 years the weight, height and body mass index (BMI) z scores were lower in IUGR children than the control children (weight z score –0.4 v 0.6, respectively; p<0.001, height z score –0.5 v 0, respectively; p=0.002, BMI z score −0.2 v 0.7, respectively; p=0.002). The predictors of these differences were IUGR, birth weight and maternal and paternal heights.
IUGR infants grow faster but remain shorter and lighter than their normal counterparts—that is, they fail to fully catch up by 9 years of age.