The early postnatal nutritional intake of preterm infants affected neurodevelopmental outcomes differently in boys and girls at 24 months

Viola Christmann, Nel Roeleveld, Reina Visser, Anjo J.W.M. Janssen, Jolanda J.C.M. Reuser, Johannes B. van Goudoever, Arno F.J. van Heijst

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AIM: This study assessed whether increased amino acid and energy intake in preterm infants during the first week of life was associated with improved neurodevelopment at the corrected age (CA) of 24 months.

METHODS: We evaluated preterm infants from two consecutive cohorts in 2004 (Cohort 1) and 2005 (Cohort 2) with different nutritional intakes in the Netherlands. Nutritional intake and growth were recorded until week 5 and after discharge. Neurodevelopment was determined using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development - Second Edition at a CA of 24 months.

RESULTS: Compared to Cohort 1 (n = 56), Cohort 2 (n = 56) received higher nutritional intake during week 1 (p < 0.001). The weight gain in Cohort 2 was higher until week 5, especially among boys (p < 0.002). The mean Mental Developmental Index (MDI) scores did not differ, but Cohort 2 was associated with an increased chance of having an MDI ≥ 85, with an odds ratio of 6.4 and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.5-27.4, among all girls with a higher protein intake (5.3, 1.2-23.3). The Psychomotor Developmental Index increased with increasing nutritional intake, especially among boys (β-coefficient 3.1, 95% CI 0.2-6.0).

CONCLUSION: Higher nutritional intake was associated with different improvements in growth and neurodevelopment in boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalActa paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)
Issue number2
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Gender
  • Growth velocity
  • Mental Developmental Index
  • Protein
  • Psychomotor Developmental Index

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