Objective: To evaluate the effects of hyperglycemia on body composition and neurodevelopment, and how early nutrition and illness modify these relationships in infants born preterm.
Study design: Prospective data were collected from infants born <32 weeks of gestational age (N = 97), including inpatient days of hyperglycemia (blood glucose >150 mg/dL) and nutrient intake. Body composition was measured at discharge and 4 months’ postmenstrual age (PMA). Bayley Scales of Infant Development III (BSID-III) were administered at 12 months’ PMA. Linear regression analysis was performed, adjusting for birth gestational age. Associations between hyperglycemia, body composition, and BSID-III were analyzed in models accounting for first-week nutrition and early illness severity via Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology-II.
Results: Mean birth gestational age was 27.8 (SD 2.4) weeks. Hyperglycemia occurred in 48.5% of infants. Hyperglycemia for ≥5 days was negatively associated with fat mass and fat free mass z scores at discharge, and fat free mass z score at 4 months’ PMA (P < .05 all). Hyperglycemia for ≥5 days was negatively associated with cognition, language, and motor scores on the BSDI at 12 months (P ≤ .01 all). Associations with body composition and BSID-III were diminished when models included first week nutrition yet remained unchanged when illness severity was included.
Conclusions: In infants <32 weeks, ≥5 days of hyperglycemia is associated with decreased lean mass at 4 months’ PMA and poorer neurodevelopmental outcome at 12 months’ PMA. These associations may be mediated by decreased first week nutrition, potentially related to reduced glucose infusion rate for management of hyperglycemia.