The long-term health of premature babies with severe lung disease could be influenced by their feeding regime, according to new research.
The study, published in the journal Pediatric Pulmonology, monitored 18 infants with a history of moderate to severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
BDP is a chronic lung disorder, most common among children who are born prematurely. It leads to significant reductions in airflow and lung over-inflation.
Over a one-year span, the American research team found little improvement in the study group’s average airflows and lung volumes. However, the children with above-average weight gain between evaluations showed significantly improved lung volumes, revealing a possible association between lung growth and improved nutrition.
The findings support previous studies in animals which have confirmed the harmful effects of malnutrition on lung development.