Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

To investigate the relation between breastfeeding, use of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-fortified formula and neuropsychological function in children.Prospective cohort study.Southampton, UK.241 children aged 4 years followed up from birth.IQ measured by the Wechsler Pre-School and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd edn), visual attention, visuomotor precision, sentence repetition and verbal fluency measured by the NEPSY, and visual form-constancy measured by the Test of Visual-Perceptual Skills (Non-Motor).In unadjusted analyses, children for whom breast milk or DHA-fortified formula was the main method of feeding throughout the first 6 months of life had higher mean full-scale and verbal IQ scores at age 4 years than those fed mainly unfortified formula. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, particularly maternal IQ and educational attainment, the differences in IQ between children in the breast milk and unfortified formula groups were severely attenuated, but children who were fed DHA-fortified formula had full-scale and verbal IQ scores that were respectively 5.62 (0.98 to 10.2) and 7.02 (1.56 to 12.4) points higher than children fed unfortified formula. However, estimated total intake of DHA in milk up to age 6 months was not associated with subsequent IQ or with score on any other test.Differences in children's intelligence according to type of milk fed in infancy may be due more to confounding by maternal or family characteristics than to the amount of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids they receive in milk.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/adc.2009.165050

Type

Journal article

Journal

Archives of Disease in Childhood

Publication Date

03/2010

Volume

95

Pages

174 - 179

Addresses

MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK. crg@mrc.soton.ac.uk

Keywords

Group for Southampton Women's Survey Study, Humans, Docosahexaenoic Acids, Follow-Up Studies, Prospective Studies, Child Development, Intelligence, Mothers, Cognition, Neuropsychological Tests, Confounding Factors (Epidemiology), Breast Feeding, Social Class, Infant Formula, Food, Fortified, Adult, Infant, Newborn, Educational Status, Female, Male, Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Young Adult