OBJECTIVES. Our goal was to analyze the association between human milk intake and severe retinopathy of prematurity in extremely low birth weight infants.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. This study is a secondary analysis of data collected for a trial of glutamine supplementation in extremely low birth weight infants (birth weight <1000 g). Among the 1433 participants in that trial, data are available regarding human milk intake and the occurrence of severe retinopathy of prematurity (defined in this study as retinopathy of prematurity treated surgically) for 1057 infants. The volume of human milk intake was expressed as the mean volume (milliliters per kilogram per day) and the mean proportional volume (proportion of total nutritional intake) from birth to discharge or transfer. Using logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for any human milk intake and, among infants who received human milk, for each 10 mL/kg per day and each 10% increase in volume.

RESULTS. Of the 1057 infants included in this cohort, 788 infants (75%) received at least some human milk. Among these milk-fed infants, the median volume of human milk intake was 30 mL/kg per day (interquartile range: 6–83 mL/kg per day), and the median proportional volume of human milk intake was 0.18 (interquartile range: 0.03–0.66). One hundred sixty-three infants (15%) developed severe retinopathy of prematurity.

CONCLUSIONS. In extremely low birth weight infants, human milk intake was not associated with a decreased risk of severe retinopathy of prematurity.

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