Supplementary Material for: Serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Levels Are Inversely Associated with Growth Rates in Infancy

<b><i>Background:</i></b> Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic and growth regulator. <b><i>Aim:</i></b> To investigate the role of FGF21 during growth in infancy. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Blood samples for FGF21, leptin, insulin and glucose were collected from cord blood obtained from 95 preterm and term newborns (cross-sectional group), and at 6 and 12 months of life in 80 preterm and term infants (longitudinal group). Length and weight were measured at birth, 6 months, and 12 months. <b><i>Results:</i></b> From birth through 12 months of age, preterm infants' linear growth and weight gain were larger than those of term infants, irrespective of birth weight SDS. At birth and at 12 months, there was no difference in FGF21 levels between preterm and term infants; in contrast, at 6 months, serum FGF21 in term infants was significantly higher than that of preterm ones. In the 0-6-month period, in the whole longitudinal group, serum FGF21 was inversely correlated to the length change SDS, and such a significant inverse correlation persisted in the preterm-AGA group in the 6-12-month period. In addition, term infants who experienced length catch-up in the first 6 months of life exhibited lower serum FGF21 levels at 6 months, and those with length catch-up growth between 6 and 12 months had a greater decrease of serum FGF21 level in the same time period. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> Our results indicate that FGF21 in infancy is inversely correlated with linear growth rate, thus suggesting that FGF21 is a negative regulator of human growth.