Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of 8 morphometric traits was studied in 113 preterm infants (26-36 wk of gestation), 103 term infants (37-41 wk), and their respective parents. With 3 different measures of FA, the highest values were obtained from extremely preterm infants (26-29 wk), and the lowest from the group of term infants. The estimates of FA values among parents, particularly mothers, showed a similar, albeit less pronounced, trend. Multiple regression analysis of individual mean FA values, calculated in infants for the 8 studied bilateral traits, documented a significant inverse correlation with gestational age and with the health status of the infants and their mothers, as well as a positive correlation with the mothers' mean FA values.
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