Nutrient-enriched formula versus standard term formula for preterm infants following hospital discharge
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BACKGROUND: Preterm infants are often growth-restricted at hospital discharge. Feeding infants after hospital discharge with nutrient-enriched formula rather than standard term formula might facilitate "catch-up" growth and improve development. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of feeding nutrient-enriched formula compared with standard term formula on growth and development for preterm infants following hospital discharge. SEARCH STRATEGY: The standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group were used. This included searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2007), MEDLINE (1966 - May 2007), EMBASE (1980 - May 2007), CINAHL (1982 - May 2007), conference proceedings, and previous reviews. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared the effect of feeding preterm infants following hospital discharge with nutrient-enriched formula compared with standard term formula. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data was extracted using the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, with separate evaluation of trial quality and data extraction by two authors, and synthesis of data using weighted mean difference and a fixed effects model for meta-analysis. MAIN RESULTS: Seven trials were found that were eligible for inclusion. These recruited a total of 631 infants and were generally of good methodological quality. The trials found little evidence that feeding with nutrient-enriched formula milk affected growth and development. Because of differences in the way individual trials measured and presented outcomes, data synthesis was limited. Growth data from two trials found that, at six months post-term, infants fed with nutrient-enriched formula had statistically significantly lower weights [weighted mean difference: -601 (95% confidence interval -1028, -174) grams], lengths [-18.8 (-30.0, -7.6) millimetres], and head circumferences [-10.2 ( -18.0, -2.4) millimetres], than infants fed standard term formula. At 12 to 18 months post-term, meta-analyses of data from three trials did not find any statistically significant differences in growth parameters. However, examination of these meta-analyses demonstrated statistical heterogeneity. Meta-analyses of data from two trials did not reveal a statistically significant difference in Bayley Mental Development or Psychomotor Development Indices. There are not yet any data on growth or development through later childhood. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The available data do not provide strong evidence that feeding preterm infants following hospital discharge with nutrient-enriched formula compared with standard term formula affects growth rates or development up to 18 months post-term.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
This article is an update of: Henderson G, Fahey T, McGuire W. Calorie and protein-enriched formula versus standard term formula for improving growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants following hospital discharge. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004696. This article maintains the original article number (CD004696).