Background: While postnatal growth in the first month of life is known to impact retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) risk, the impact of growth later in hospitalization, during critical times of retinal vascularization, remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess if postnatal growth and body composition during the second half of neonatal intensive care unit hospitalization were associated with severity of retinopathy of prematurity in very low birth weight preterm infants. Methods: Prospective observational pilot study of 83 infants born <32 weeks gestation and <1500 g, conducted at a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. Body composition was measured during the second half of hospitalization. Infants were evaluated for retinopathy of prematurity. Logistic regression was performed. Results: Greater gains in fat mass, fat-free mass, and percent body fat from 32 to 37 weeks postmenstrual age and higher % body fat at term postmenstrual age were associated with decreased odds of ≥stage 2 retinopathy of prematurity (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Improved growth later in neonatal intensive care unit hospitalization and increased adiposity at term may reduce odds of severe retinopathy of prematurity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by March of Dimes Foundation, grant number 12-FY13-295 and the University of Minnesota Foundation Amplatz Scholar Award.
- Body composition
- Postnatal growth
- Retinopathy of prematurity