It is conceded that premature infants and twins are more susceptible to the development of rickets, 1 spasmophilia 2 and anemia3 than are full term normal infants. The minerals calcium and iron are known to be deposited in greater amounts during the later months of pregnancy, and consequently it has been realized that infants born earlier than full term possess a smaller and an inadequate mineral stock and soon after birth run short, 4 even though they are breast fed. This condition has been accepted generally as the reason, or at least the principal reason, for the increased incidence of the diseases mentioned above in premature and twin infants.
Another cause offered by some is that many premature infants suffer from what is termed "debility"; that is, as a whole they are less efficient human machines, and consequently present pathologic conditions sooner and with greater facility, and in severer
GERSTENBERGER HJ, NOURSE JD. THE PREVENTION OF RICKETS IN PREMATURE INFANTS. JAMA. 1926;87(14):1108–1114. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680140026007
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