Background: Extremely preterm birth is associated with a high risk of extrauterine growth retardation, which has been linked with adverse developmental outcomes. Objective: We investigated whether nutritional management during the first 7 days of life affects growth patterns until the corrected age of 2 years in extremely preterm infants. Study Design: A retrospective study of 78 extremely preterm (<28 weeks' gestation) neonates was conducted. Data regarding parenteral and enteral intake of energy, protein, lipids, and carbohydrates during the first 7 days of life were collected from patient records. The outcome measures included weight, height, and head circumference with Z scores at term-equivalent age and the corrected ages of 1 and 2 years. Analyses were performed with hierarchical-linear mixed models. Results: Nutritional intake during the first week of life did not reach the current recommendations. The total energy intake during the first 7 days of life was statistically significantly associated with weight, length, and head circumference until the corrected age of 2 years after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Individual macronutrient intake displayed no association with growth patterns. Conclusions: Energy intake during the first 7 days of life is associated with growth until the corrected age of 2 years. These results provide support for the aggressive early nutritional management of extremely preterm infants.

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