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Type: Journal article
Title: Feeding preterm infants milk with a higher dose of docosahexaenoic acid than that used in current practice does not influence language or behavior in early childhood: a follow-up study of a randomized controlled trial
Author: Smithers, L.
Collins, C.
Simmonds, L.
Gibson, R.
McPhee, A.
Makrides, M.
Citation: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010; 91(3):628-634
Publisher: Amer Soc Clinical Nutrition
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0002-9165
Statement of
Lisa G Smithers, Carmel T Collins, Lucy A Simmonds, Robert A Gibson, Andrew McPhee and Maria Makrides
Abstract: <h4>Background</h4>The visual and mental development of preterm infants improved after feeding them milk enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in amounts matching the fetal accretion rate.<h4>Objective</h4>The objective was to evaluate whether feeding preterm infants milk with a higher DHA content than that used in current practice influences language or behavior in early childhood.<h4>Design</h4>This was a follow-up study in a subgroup of infants enrolled in the DINO (Docosahexaenoic acid for the Improvement in Neurodevelopmental Outcome) trial. In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, infants born at <33 wk of gestation were fed milk containing 1% of total fatty acids as DHA (higher-DHA group) or approximately 0.3% DHA (control group) until reaching full-term equivalent age. The longer-term effects of the intervention on language, behavior, and temperament were measured by using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (MCDI) at 26-mo corrected age, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and the Short Temperament Scale for Children (STSC) between 3- and 5-y corrected age.<h4>Results</h4>Mean (+/-SD) MCDI scores did not differ significantly (adjusted P = 0.8) between the higher-DHA group (308 +/- 179, n = 60) and the control group (316 +/- 192, n = 67) per the Vocabulary Production subscale. Composite scores on the SDQ and STSC did not differ between the higher-DHA group and the control group [SDQ Total Difficulties: higher-DHA group (10.3 +/- 6.0, n = 61), control group (9.5 +/- 5.5, n = 64), adjusted P = 0.5; STSC score: higher-DHA group (3.1 +/- 0.7, n = 61), control group (3.0 +/- 0.7, n = 64), adjusted P = 0.3].<h4>Conclusions</h4>Feeding preterm infants milk containing 3 times the standard amount of DHA did not result in any clinically meaningful change to language development or behavior when assessed in early childhood. Whether longer-term effects of dietary DHA supplementation can be detected remains to be assessed. This trial was registered with the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry at as 12606000327583.
Keywords: Milk
Dietary Fats
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Treatment Outcome
Double-Blind Method
Infant Behavior
Child Development
Child Language
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Food, Fortified
Child, Preschool
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Young Adult
Rights: © 2010 American Society for Clinical Nutrition
DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28603
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Paediatrics publications

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