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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

On-line version ISSN 1806-9304


GONCALVES, Fabiana Cristina Lima da Silva Pastich; AMORIM, Rosemary de Jesus Machado; COSTA, Suzana Maria Ramos  and  LIMA, Marilia de Carvalho. The biological bases of and epidemiological evidence for the contribution of fetal and postnatal growth to body composition: a review. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.3, pp.223-232. ISSN 1806-9304.

OBJECTIVES: to present the biological bases of and epidemiological evidence for fetal and postnatal growth in relation to size and body composition. METHODS: a search of papers published in the last 15 years was carried out in the Lilacs, SciELO, and Medline databases using the key words: growth, fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, catchup growth, body composition, body mass index and hormones. The studies were selected according to relevance to the evidence to be analyzed. RESULTS: the articles show the influence of intrauterine growth restriction on the suppression of thermogenesis and hormonal regulation, which in turn interfere with weight gain after birth, and explain how both processes, fetal growth restriction and rapid postnatal weight gain influence body measurements in later life, with consequences that might affect generations. CONCLUSIONS: fetal growth influences the pattern of postnatal growth due to several factors related to hormone regulation, but there is still a gap on the contribution of the combination of fetal growth and postnatal size to body composition in later life.

Keywords : Growth; Fetal growth; Low birth weight; Body composition; Hormones.

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