Allergic diseases among very preterm infants according to nutrition after hospital discharge

Gitte Zachariassen, Jan Faerk, Birgitte Esberg Boysen Kjær, Jesper Fenger-Gron, Sven Aage Mortensen, Henrik T Christesen, Susanne Halken

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


To determine whether a cow's milk-based human milk fortifier (HMF) added to mother's milk while breastfeeding or a cow's milk-based preterm formula compared to exclusively mother's milk after hospital discharge, increases the incidence of developing allergic diseases among very preterm infants (VPI) during the first year of life. Of a cohort of 324 VPI (gestational age 24-32 wk), the exclusively breastfed VPI were shortly before discharge randomized to breastfeeding without fortification or supplementing with a fortifier. Those not breastfed were fed a preterm formula. The intervention period was from discharge until 4 months corrected age (CA). Follow-up was performed at 4 and 12 months CA including specific IgE to a panel of allergens at 4 months CA. The incidence during and prevalence at 12 months CA of recurrent wheezing (RW) was 39.2% and 32.7%, while atopic dermatitis (AD) was 18.0% and 12.1%, respectively. Predisposition to allergic disease increased the risk of developing AD (p=0.04) [OR 2.6 (95% CI 1.0-6.4)] and the risk of developing RW (p=0.02) [OR 2.7 (95% CI 1.2-6.3)]. Boys had an increased risk of developing RW (p=0.003) [OR 3.1 (95% CI 1.5-6.5)]. No difference was found between nutrition groups. None developed food allergy. Compared to exclusively breastfed, VPI supplemented with HMF or fed exclusively a preterm formula for 4 months did not have an increased risk of developing allergic diseases during the first year of life.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)515-20
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Breast Feeding
  • Cattle
  • Dermatitis, Atopic
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases
  • Male
  • Milk
  • Milk, Human
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Treatment Outcome

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