A recent study shows that premature infants may end up with fragile bones.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, the mother transfers her calcium reserves to the as-yet-unborn child. This leads to proper bone development. Yet the question arises that what would occur were this process to go awry.
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Well, the bones are the first to weaken as a result of insufficient calcium uptake by the baby. Those babies who were otherwise normal but were born prematurely tended to have weak and fragile bones.
This in turn was a sign of future osteoporosis in these babies when they became adults. Very few studies have been conducted into the matter previously.
What little data exists is not conclusive in its scope. For both those who were born prematurely, and those who were born normally yet were small for their weight, the chances of having weaker bones went up a few notches.
A control group was there in the latest study and it showed negligible signs of having weak bones. Over 186 adults were examined during the study. They were 26 to 28 years of age.
Over 52 of the participants in the study had low birth weights as babies. The average birth weight was 1.2 kg. As for the period of conception, it was approximately 29 weeks.
About 59 participants were not premature but had small frames as infants. They weighed on average 3 kg per infant. The control group included 77 adults in it.
All three posses were tested for bone mineral content and density in the backbone, neck, hips and the entire body. Also the weight, height, smoking status, physical fitness level and countless other statistics were included in the scope of the study.
The results were pretty conclusive. Those born small tended to lose bone mineral content and density when they grew into adults. They suffered the consequences of being born smaller than normal babies.
However, all is not lost. There are preventative measures that can be taken by improving the diet and exercise regimens of these premature and low weight babies while they are growing up.
What ought to be ensured is that these vulnerable children are given a diet that is rich in calcium, vitamin D and adequate in lean and high quality proteins as well. Also as teenagers they ought to start weight training sessions at the gym. This will protect their bones from the wear and tear of daily life activities.