Body composition and physical fitness in adults born small for gestational age at term: a prospective cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2023, 13 (1), . 10.1038/s41598-023-30371-y
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.