University of Oulu

Matre, M., Mehl, C.V., Benum, S.D. et al. Body composition and physical fitness in adults born small for gestational age at term: a prospective cohort study. Sci Rep 13, 3455 (2023).

Body composition and physical fitness in adults born small for gestational age at term : a prospective cohort study

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Author: Matre, Maria1; Mehl, Cathrin Vano2; Benum, Silje Dahl2;
Organizations: 1Department of Rehabilitation Science and Health Technology, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
2Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
3Public Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland
4Clinical Medicine Research Unit, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
6Unit for Physiotherapy Services, Trondheim Municipality, Trondheim, Norway
7Children’s Clinic, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-22


There is lack of research on body composition and physical fitness in individuals born small for gestational age (SGA) at term entering mid-adulthood. We aimed to investigate these outcomes in adults born SGA at term. This population-based cohort study included 46 adults born SGA with birth weight < 10th percentile at term (gestational age ≥ 37 weeks) (22 women, 24 men) and 61 adults born at term with birth weight ≥ 10th percentile (35 women, 26 men) at 32 years. Body composition was examined anthropometrically and by 8-polar bioelectrical impedance analysis (Seca® mBCA 515). Fitness was measured by maximal isometric grip strength by a Jamar hand dynamometer, 40-s modified push-up test and 4-min submaximal step test. Participants born SGA were shorter than controls, but other anthropometric measures did not differ between the groups. Men born SGA had 4.8 kg lower grip strength in both dominant (95% CI 0.6 to 9.0) and non-dominant (95% CI 0.4 to 9.2) hand compared with controls. Grip strength differences were partly mediated by height. In conclusion, body composition and physical fitness were similar in adults born SGA and non-SGA at term. Our finding of reduced grip strength in men born SGA may warrant further investigation.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Article number: 3455
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-30371-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: Open access funding provided by Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The work of Drs. Kajantie and Evensen was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program: Research on European Children and Adults born Preterm (RECAP Preterm), 733280. MSc Matre received funding from the Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy. MSc Benum received funding from the Dam Foundation and the Central Norway Regional Health Authority 90654402. Dr. Kajantie received funding from the Academy of Finland 315690, the Novo Nordisk Foundation NNF20OC0063930, the Foundation for Pediatric Research, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, and the Finnish Diabetes Research Foundation. Dr. Evensen received funding from the Joint Research Committee of St. Olavs Hospital HF and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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