Premature babies will have weaker bones, says new study

May 30, 2016

Washington: Premature babies are more at the risk of developing weaker bones in life. A Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) study shows that both those born prematurely with a very low birth weight and those who were born full term, but small for their gestational age, had lower bone mass than the control group, who were born full term with normal weights.

A premature or preterm baby is one born before 37 complete weeks of pregnancy. Generally, the earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of complications, say doctors at Mayo Clinic.

No studies have so far addressed bone mass in adults, who were born with low birth weight, and there are conflicting findings, said Chandima Balasuriya of the Norwegian University, who conducted the latest study.

According to journal Endocrine Abstracts, the study was conducted on 186 adults who were 26-28 years old.The good news is that parents and doctors can put this information to use, by helping low-birth weight children build as much bone mass as possible as they grow and develop, through diet and exercise.

"Ensuring that children with low birth weights have a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein, in combination with exercise that involves weight-bearing physical activities may help reduce risk of bone fractures later in life," Balasuriya said.

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