Human milk feeding protects very low-birth-weight infants from retinopathy of prematurity: a pre–post cohort analysis

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objectives: To examine the effect of early human milk (HM) feeding on the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) among very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants. Methods: Observational cohort research in a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. A total of 186 infants were enrolled in this pre–post cohort study (114 infants were included in the HM-fed group and 72 in the formula-fed group). ROP, type of feeding (early exclusive HM versus any formula), and potential confounding variables were measured. Differences between groups were explored. Results: The clinical characteristics of the neonates did not differ between the two groups. By bivariate analysis, HM feeding was associated with 75% lower odds of Stage 2 or 3 ROP (OR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.091 to 0.705; p = 0.009) At multivariate logistic regression, type of milk feeding retained significance, exclusive HM being protective with p = 0.002. Conclusions: This study found an association between early exposure to formula in VLBW infants and ROP. An initial HM diet, devoid of cow milk-containing products before achieving full enteral feeding, may help prevent ROP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3790-3795
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Volume29
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • milk bank
  • newborn infant
  • retinopathy of prematurity

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