Advertisement

Anthropometry of Twins

  • Sergio Demarini
Chapter

Abstract

Twins are smaller than singletons at birth, due to both shorter gestational age and intrauterine growth restriction. Additionally, an intrapair discordance in birth weight is quite frequent. In twins, as in singletons, body weight and body composition vary with gestational age. However, in each pair of twins, a difference in birth weight, although correlated with, is not proportional to differences in body composition components. When compared to singletons, normally grown twins show similar body composition components. In contrast, growth-restricted twins have lower lean mass and possibly lower fat mass and bone mineral content when compared to singletons matched for gestational age. During the first 2 years of life, twins show a catch-up growth but do not reach the body size of singletons. Between 2 and 9 years of age, height in twins is only marginally lower than singletons, whereas weight gain is considerably less. Monozygotic twins are both lighter and shorter than dizygotic twins. Birth weight, parental height, zygosity, and gender are the determinants of somatic growth of twins in the first 9 years of life. In adulthood, twins seem to have a slightly lower weight than singletons. With regard to body composition, there is a persisting correlation between birth weight and body composition components.

Keywords

Birth Weight Body Composition Bone Mineral Content Fetal Growth Lean Mass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AGA

Appropriate for gestational age

BMC

Bone mineral content

BMI

Body mass index

DXA

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry

DZ

Dizygotic twins

FM

Fat body mass

LM

Lean body mass

MZ

Monozygotic twins

SGA

Small for gestational age

References

  1. Loos RJF, Derom C, Derom R, Vlietinck R. Determinants of birthweight and intrauterine growth in liveborn twins. Paediatr Perinatal Epid. 2005;19(suppl.1):15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Naeye RL, Benirschke K, Hagstrom JW, Marcus CC. Intrauterine growth of twins as estimated from liveborn ­birth-weight data. Pediatrics. 1966;37:409–16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hollier LM, McIntire DD, Leveno KJ. Outcome of twin pregnancies according to intrapair birth weight differences. Obstet Gynecol. 1999;94:1006–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blickstein I, Lancet M. The growth discordant twin. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1988;43:509–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Koo B, Walters J, Hockman E, Koo W. Body composition of newborn twins: intrapair differences. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002;21:245–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Demarini S, Koo WWK, Hockman EM. Bone, lean and fat mass of newborn twins versus singletons. Acta Paediatr. 2006;95:594–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Van Dommelen P, de Gunst M, van der Vaart A, van Buuren S, Boomsma D. growth references for height, weight and body mass index of twins aged 0–2.5 years. Acta Paediatr. 2008;97:1099–104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckler JM, Green M. The growth of twins between the ages of 2 and 9 years old. Ann Hum Biol. 2008;35:75–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Andrew T, Hart DJ, Snieder H, de Lange M, Spector TD, MacGregor AJ. Are twins and singletons comparable? A study of disease related and lifestyles characteristics in adult women. Twin Res. 2001;4:464–77.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Skidmore PML, Cassidy A, Swaminathan R, Richards JB, Mangino M, Spector TD, MacGregor A. An obesogenic postnatal environment is more important than the fetal environment for the development of adult adiposity: a study of female twins. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:401–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Morley R, Dwyer T. Studies of twins: what can they tell us about the fetal origins of adult disease? Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2005;19(Suppl.1):2–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McCaffery JM, Papandonatos GD, Bond DS, Lyons MJ, Wing RR. Gene x environment interaction of vigorous ­exercise and body mass index among male Vietnam-era twins. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1011–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Monrad RN, Grunnet LG, Rasmussen EL, Malis C, Vaag A, Poulsen P. Age-dependent nongenetic influences of birth weight and adult body fat on insulin sensitivity in twins. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94:2394–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Koo WWK, Walters JC, Hockman EM. Body composition in human infants at birth and postnatally. J Nutr. 2000;130:2188–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Urlando A, Dempster P, Aitkens S. A new air-displacement pletismography for the measurements of body composition in infants. Pediatr Res. 2003;53:486–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellis KJ, Yao M, Shypailo RJ, Urlando A, Wong WW, Heird WC. Body composition assessment in infancy: air-­displacement pletismography versus a four compartment criterion model. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:90–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Thornton CJ, Shannon DL, Hunter MA, Brans YW. Dynamic skinfold thickness measurements: a non-invasive ­estimate of neonatal extracellular water. Pediatr Res. 1982;16:989–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Demarini S, Pickens WL. Hoath SB. Changes in static and dynamic skin fold measurements in the first 60 hours of life: higher values following cesarean delivery. Biol Neonate. 1993;64:209–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ellis K. Evaluation of body composition in neonates and infants. Semin Fetal Neonat Med. 2007;12:87–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tang W, Modi N, Price D, Cowan D. Assessment of total body water in neonates receiving intensive care using ­bioelectrical impedance analysis. Archiv Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 1997;77:F123–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of NeonatologyIRCCS Burlo GarofoloTriesteItaly

Personalised recommendations