Enriched formula for preterm infants offers little long-term benefit

  • Walsh V & al.
  • Cochrane Database Syst Rev
  • 17 Jul 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Nutrient-enriched formula for preterm infants offers only modest benefits over standard formula in immediate head growth and weight gain, with no evidence showing long-term effects.

Why this matters

  • Preterm infants are at risk for nutrient deficiencies that restrict early growth, leading to efforts at mitigation using enriched formulas.
  • Short-term gains do not seem to translate into long-term benefits in terms of later growth and development, conclude the authors of this update to a 2016 review .

Key results

  • Most trials are quite old (
  • They found no effect on time to regain birth weight.
  • Low-certainty evidence pointed to some immediate in-hospital weight gain and head circumference increases (mean differences; 95% CIs):
    • Weight gain: 2.43 (1.60-3.26) g/kg/day;
    • Head circumference: 1.04 (0.18-1.89) mm/week; and
    • No length gains identified.
  • Outcomes beyond infancy were rarely tracked, but the available evidence shows little or no neurodevelopmental benefit associated with nutrient-enriched formula.
  • No signal of harm, e.g., necrotizing enterocolitis, with nutrient-rich formula use.

Study design

  • Cochrane review, 7 trials (n=590 infants).
  • Funding: UK and Australian universities; National Institute for Health Research, UK; the Gerber Foundation; others.

Limitations

  • Bias risk, study heterogeneity, low certainty of evidence.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit