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Intervention Review

Calorie and protein-enriched formula versus standard term formula for improving growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants following hospital discharge

  1. G Henderson,
  2. T Fahey,
  3. W McGuire

Editorial Group: Cochrane Neonatal Group

Published Online: 20 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004696.pub2

How to Cite

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. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004696.pub2.

Author Information

*Dr William McGuire, Senior Lecturer, Tayside Institute of Child Health, University of Dundee, Tayside Institute of Child Health, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, DD6 8DL, UK. w.mcguire@dundee.ac.uk.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2005

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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Synopsis

Background

Preterm and low birth weight infants are often growth-restricted at hospital discharge. Feeding infants post-hospital discharge with calorie and protein-enriched formula milk might facilitate "catch-up" growth and improve development.

Objectives

To review the evidence from randomised controlled trials that feeding following hospital discharge with calorie and protein-enriched formula compared with standard term formula improves growth and development for preterm or low birth weight infants.

Search strategy

We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. This included searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2004), MEDLINE (1966 - December 2004), EMBASE (1980 - December 2004), CINAHL (1982 - December 2004), conference proceedings, and previous reviews.

Selection criteria

Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared the effect of feeding preterm or low birth weight infants post-hospital discharge with calorie and protein-enriched formula compared with standard term formula.

Data collection and analysis

We extracted data 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

We found six trials that were eligible for inclusion. These recruited a total of 424 infants and were generally of good methodological quality. These trials found little evidence that feeding with calorie and protein-enriched formula milk affected growth and development. Because of differences in the way individual trials measured and presented outcomes, data synthesis was limited. Meta-analysis of data from two trials found a statistically significant effect on crown-heel length at 18 months post-term (weighted mean difference 9.7 millimetres (95% confidence interval 3.2 to 16.2)), but not on weight or head circumference. Meta-analysis of data from the two trials that assessed neurodevelopment at 18 months post-term did not reveal a statistically significant difference in either Bayley Mental Development Index (weighted mean difference 0.23 (95% confidence interval -2.99 to 3.45)) or Psychomotor Development Index (weighted mean difference 0.56 (95% confidence interval -1.95 to 3.07)). There are not yet any data on growth or development through later childhood.

Authors' conclusions

The limited available data do not provide strong evidence that feeding preterm or low birth weight infants following hospital discharge with calorie and protein-enriched formula compared with standard term formula affects growth rates or development up to 18 months post-term.

 

Synopsis

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  2. Abstract
  3. Synopsis

Plain language summary

Synopsis pending.