THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Postnatal supplementation with enteral polyunsaturated fatty acids in extremely preterm children did not significantly impact visual acuity at 2.5 years of corrected age, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in The Lancet Regional Health Europe.
Pia Lundgren, from University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues investigated ophthalmological outcomes at 2.5 years of corrected age in 115 children born extremely preterm (<28 weeks of gestation) to evaluate the effects of postnatal enteral supplementation with ω-3 and ω-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Infants had been randomly assigned to receive an enteral supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) from birth to 40 weeks postmenstrual age.
Assessment data were missing for 42.1 percent of infants, including 41.7 percent of infants receiving AA/DHA supplementation and 42.6 percent of control infants. The researchers found no significant effect of AA/DHA supplementation on visual acuity outcome (≥20/63; odds ratio, 2.16; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 4.69; P = 0.053) after multiple imputation and adjustments for gestational age, study center, plurality, and corrected age at visual exam.
“Due to the high loss to follow-up rate and the limited statistical power, additional studies are needed,” the authors write. “We believe this study may inspire to further research if postnatal fatty acid supplementation with AA and DHA to extremely preterm is beneficial for neural components in the visual system.”
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