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March 1943


Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(3):412-425. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010150060005

An important determinant of the calcium and phosphorus requirements of premature infants is the fact that premature birth has deprived them of placental nutrition for a period during which they would normally have acquired the major portion of their stores of these minerals.1 This factor may also be expected to influence postnatal retention of minerals by premature infants. The observations to be reported consist of studies of the calcium and phosphorus metabolism of 5 prematurely born infants fed at low and at high levels of mineral intake (human and cow's milk respectively). On the basis of data in the literature on the chemical composition of the fetus at different ages and the mineral retentions of full term infants, standards of retention have been formulated as a guide to dietary requirements. Since the subjects all received large amounts of vitamin D, the data permit a more satisfactory assessment of the