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Nutrient-Dense Milk Formula Does Not Improve Cognitive Benefit in Preemies

A study has unveiled that a feeding formula enriched with macronutrients does not necessarily improve long-term cognitive outcome in preterm infants as compared with standard milk formula. In the meantime, infant growth over the first year of life is important and does wonder for later cognition.

Photo: Newborn Baby in Hospital | InStyleHealth

There was a total of 92 preterm infants were randomized at 36 weeks corrected gestational age or CGA to either preterm formula or term formula until 6 months, or PTF until 40 weeks CGA then TF until 6 months.

All of these children were followed for 10 years to assess childhood cognition. The assessment tool used was the short form Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children III, with full computation of full-scale intelligence quotient or FSIQ and four-factor index scores; verbal comprehension, freedom from distractibility or FDI, perpetual organization or POI, and processing speed index or PSI.

Outcomes revealed no significant difference in FSIQ. But, compared with the crossover group, children in the PTF group had 10-point higher PSI.

A faster weight gain from term to 12 weeks CGA was strongly associated with a 5-point increase in FSIQ and four-point rise in POI. Infant head growth likewise showed a positive correlation with FSIQ and FDI.

Findings of the study suggest that nutritional exposures and growth in the first year of life are important and require closer attention. However, more research is needed to establish optimal early diet in preterm infants.


Source: Pediatr Res 2021;89:1442-1446

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