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Breast milk protein content at week 3 after birth and neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants fed fortified breast milk

Abstract : Background Feeding supplemented mother milk during hospital stay improves neurodevelopment in preterm infants. Yet the composition of mother milk varies widely between subjects. The relationship between this variation and outcome is unknown. Objective To determine whether the protein content in native breast milk (BM) correlates with 2-year infant outcome. Design In a monocentric prospective observational study, LACTACOL, preterm infants born between 28 and 34 weeks of gestation, whose mothers decided to exclusively breastfeed, were enrolled during the first week of life. Samples of expressed breast milk obtained at several times of the day were pooled over a 24-h period, and such pool was used for macronutrient analysis, using mid-infrared analyzer. Age and Stages questionnaire (ASQ) was used to assess 2-year neurodevelopmental outcome. We analyzed the relationship between protein content in BM, and (i) infant neurodevelopment at 2-year (primary outcome), and (ii) growth until 2-year (secondary outcome). Results 138 infants were enrolled. The main analysis concerned 130 infants (including 40 twin infants) and 110 mothers with BM samples collected at week 3 after birth. Native BM samples were ranked in three tertiles of protein content (g/100 ml): 0.91 +/- 0.09 (lower), 1.14 +/- 0.05 (middle) and 1.40 +/- 0.15 (upper); 48, 47 and 35 infants were ranked, respectively, in these three tertiles. Infants in the upper tertile were more often singleton (P = 0.012) and were born with lower birth weight and head circumference Z-scores (P = 0.005 and 0.002, respectively). Differences in weight and head circumference were no longer observed at 2-year. ASQ score at age 2 did not differ between the three tertiles (P = 0.780). Sensitivity analyses with imputations, including all 138 infants, confirmed the main analysis as well as analyses based on fortified BM as exposure. Conclusions Protein content of BM (native or fortified) is not associated with preterm infant neurodevelopment at 2-year. Higher protein content was associated with a lower birth weight.
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Contributor : Clair-Yves Boquien <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 18, 2021 - 10:08:03 AM
Last modification on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 5:20:03 PM




Clair-Yves Boquien, Helene Billard, Laure Simon, Cecile Boscher, Arnaud Legrand, et al.. Breast milk protein content at week 3 after birth and neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants fed fortified breast milk. European Journal of Nutrition, Springer Verlag, 2021, pp.1-11. ⟨10.1007/s00394-021-02562-8⟩. ⟨hal-03264328⟩



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