Preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched formula until 6 months show improved growth and development

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Background:The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of feeding nutrient-enriched preterm formula to preterm infants until 6 months' corrected age (CA) on growth and development in the first 18 months of life.Methods:Very low-birthweight preterm infants were fed preterm formula until term (40 weeks CA). Infants were then assigned to one of three groups and were fed term formula until 6 months' CA (group 1, n= 29); preterm formula to 3 months' CA and then term formula to 6 months' CA (group 2, n= 30); or preterm formula until 6 months' CA (group 3, n= 31). Anthropometry was performed at term, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and at s18 months' CA. Mental and psychomotor development were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II at 18 months' CA.Results:Although body weight, length, head circumference and z score for CA at term in group 3 were significantly lower than those of groups 1 and 2, growth rates of these parameters were significantly higher in group 3 up to 18 months CA', as compared to groups 1 and 2. The mental developmental index and psychomotor developmental index of the Bayley test were not significantly different between the three groups.Conclusions:Very low-birthweight preterm infants fed nutrient-enriched preterm formula until 6 months' CA demonstrated significantly improved growth rates for bodyweight, length and head circumference, and comparable mental and psychomotor development throughout the first 18 months of life.

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