Bone, lean and fat mass of newborn twins versus singletons

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Twin gestations are associated with disturbed fetal growth. The aim of this study was to compare body composition measurements of twins to those of singletons.


Anthropometric and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements were performed in twins and in matched singleton neonates. There were 48 pairs of twins in which 76 infants were appropriate for gestational age (AGA) with birth weights between the 10th and 90th percentile and 20 were small for gestational age (SGA) with birth weights <10th percentiles. Each AGA twin was matched as closely as possible for birth weight to an AGA singleton. Each SGA twin was matched with two cohorts of AGA singletons: one with similar birth weight and one with similar gestation.


For AGA twins and their singleton cohort matched for birth weights, profile analysis using repeated measure analysis of variance showed that there were no significant differences in bone, fat and lean mass either as absolute values or as percentage of total weight. This was also the case for body composition of SGA twins compared to singletons matched for birth weight. In contrast, SGA twins have significantly lower absolute amounts of lean with tendency to lower fat and bone mass.


For clinically normally grown neonates, with comparable weight, the body composition with respect to bone, fat and lean mass components are similar regardless whether they are products of singleton or twin pregnancies.

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