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March 6, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(10):807-808. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780100037017

Certain periods in human growth and metabolism, such as the prenatal period, the neonatal period, the period of infancy, the period of puberty and the adult stage, bring with them deep-seated metabolic changes. Unfortunately there are few permanent biologic landmarks to separate these periods. Under ordinary conditions the new-born infant does not regain its birth weight until the end of the first ten days of extra-uterine life. It is not surprising that the severe metabolic disturbances which the new-born infant experiences during the time when it ceases its intra-uterine existence and has to adjust itself to the changes of extra-uterine life should leave their mark on the body. In 1933 Harris1 found neonatal changes in bone; he points out that "in neonatal life, as a result of the catastrophic changes involved at birth, an arrest of growth concomitant with the loss of weight in the first week of life