Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(2):152-158.
Published online February 15, 2009.
Consequences of being born small for gestational age : More than being small
Eun-Gyong Yoo
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Pochon CHA University, Sungnam, Korea
부당경량아. 크기만 작은가?
포천중문의과대학 소아과학교실
Eun-Gyong Yoo, Email: pedyoo@cha.ac.kr
Reduced fetal growth is independently associated with increased risk of health problems in later life, particularly type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Insulin resistance appears to be a key component underlying these metabolic complications. It is suggested that detrimental fetal environment may program insulin resistance syndrome. An insulin-resistant genotype may also result in both low birth weight and insulin resistance syndrome, and it is likely that the association of low birth weight with insulin resistance is the result of both genetic and environmental factors. Early postnatal rapid catch-up growth is closely related to risk for subsequent metabolic diseases. Fat mass is strikingly reduced in neonates born small for gestational age (SGA), and recent data suggest that insulin resistance seen in catch-up growth is related to the disproportionate catch-up in fat mass compared with lean mass. Endocrine disturbances are also recognized in SGA children, but overt clinical problems are infrequent in childhood. Cognitive impairment is reported in some children born SGA, especially those who do not show catch-up growth, in whom early neurodevelopmental evaluation is required. Breast feeding, also known to be protective against the long-term risk of obesity, may prevent some intellectual impairment in SGA children. Calorie-dense feeding does not seem to be appropriate in SGA infants. We must balance the positive effect of nutrition on neural development against rapid fat deposition and the future risk of insulin resistance.
Key Words: Small for gestational age, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue, Metabolic syndrome

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