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Feeding preterm infants after hospital discharge: Effect of diet on body composition

Lookup NU author(s): Richard Cooke, Professor Nicholas EmbletonORCiD


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Our purpose in this study was to examine whole body composition, using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) during dietary intervention in preterm infants (≤ 1750 g birthweight, ≤34 wk gestation). At discharge, infants were randomized to be fed either a preterm infant formula (discharge- 6 mo; group A) or a term formula (discharge-6 mo; group B), or the preterm formula (discharge-term) and the term formula (term-6 mo; group C). Nutrient intake was measured between each clinic visit. To measure body composition, DEXA was used at discharge, term, 12 wk, 6 mo, and 12 mo corrected age. The data were analyzed by ANOVA. At discharge, no differences were noted in patient characteristics between groups A, B, and C. Although energy intakes were similar, protein and mineral intakes differed between groups (A > C > B; p < 0.0001). During the study, weight gain and LM gain were greater in group A than B. At 12 mo, weight, LM, FM, and BMM but not % FM or BMD were greater in group A than B. However, the effects of diet were confined to boys, with no lasting effects seen in girls. In summary, therefore, DEXA was precise enough to detect differences in whole body composition during dietary intervention. Increased weight gain primarily reflected an increase in LM and is consistent with the idea that the preterm formula more closely met protein and/or protein-energy needs in rapidly growing preterm male infants.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cooke RJ, McCormick K, Griffin IJ, Embleton N, Faulkner K, Wells JC, Rawlings DC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Research

Year: 1999

Volume: 46

Issue: 4

Pages: 461-464

Print publication date: 01/10/1999

ISSN (print): 0031-3998

ISSN (electronic): 1530-0447

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

URL: .http//

DOI: 10.1203/00006450-199910000-00017

PubMed id: 10509369


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