Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons at the Medical University of Bahrain showed the results of the study were published in the journal JAMA Network Open. Beneficial effects of breast milk consumption on cardiovascular health and cardiovascular development in premature or premature infants
The study of 80 premature infants is the first to show that preterm infants with high exposure to their mother’s milk had enhanced heart function at one year of age, with values approaching those of healthy infants..
Benefits of breastfeeding
The research was led by Professor Afif Al-Khuffash, Professor of Pediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons and Consultant Pediatrician at Rotunda Hospital Dublin, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oxford. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School.
According to the study, children and adults born prematurely have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, including ischemic heart disease, heart failure, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, and are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease..
The hearts of prematurely born babies are known to have unique features such as reduced ventricular volume, shorter length, decreased systolic and diastolic function and a disproportionate increase in muscle mass. This defect is detected upon discharge from the hospital and continues throughout adolescence.
This study showed that exclusive consumption of breast milk in the first months after birth is associated with normalization of some of these traits, and preterm infants who were exposed to a high proportion of their mother’s milk during the first few weeks after birth had greater left and right heart function and structure with lower pulmonary pressure and improved right heart response. for stress at 1 year of age compared to preterm infants who experienced stress, and these results were evident before hospital discharge and persisted up to 1 year of age (duration of follow-up).
Al Khuffash said: “This study provides the first evidence of a relationship between early postnatal feeding in prematurely born infants and heart function during the first year of life, and adds to the already known benefits of breast milk for preterm infants.. .
Professor Al-Khuffash concluded: “Premature infants have impaired cardiac function. However, those who were fed their mothers’ milk appear to restore their heart function to levels similar to healthy infants and formula-fed premature infants do not show this recovery.“.