Bone mineralization outcomes in human milk-fed preterm infants

Pediatr Res. 1992 Jun;31(6):583-6. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199206000-00009.


We evaluated bone mineralization by single photon absorptiometry at 2 y in a cohort of preterm infants studied since birth. Infants were fed human milk fortified with Ca [to achieve 80 mg/dL (19.96 mmol/L)] and P [40 mg/dL (12.91 mmol/L)] from wk 2 through 8 after birth. After hospital discharge, infants were divided into two groups (HM and F) determined by the timing of the introduction of cow milk-based formula. Mid-radius bone mineral content (BMC) was assessed in 10 infants who were breast-fed (HM) for a minimum of 2 mo after hospital discharge and 11 who were bottle-fed (F). The mean duration of human milk-feeding differed by design between HM and F groups (31 +/- 15 versus 11 +/- 3 wk, respectively). Although we had observed previously that group F had significantly greater BMC values at 16, 25, and 52 wk compared with values in group HM, we found similarities in BMC values (180 +/- 30 mg/cm) between groups at 2 y. The 2-y cohort comprised healthy infants and the groups had similar birth weights, lengths of gestation, and values for weight (10.8 +/- 1.1 kg), length (82 +/- 2 cm), and bone width (7.8 +/- 1.1 mm). Follow-up outcomes at 2 y in preterm infants fed fortified human milk in hospital suggest that if they continue to receive human milk after hospital discharge, radius BMC will "catch-up" to that of similar infants given formula in the posthospitalization period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Calcification, Physiologic*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human*