To determine the effect of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in very low-birth-weight infants on the incidence of allergic and infectious diseases during the first year of life.
Tertiary care hospital.
All surviving infants who participated in a trial of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in very low-birth-weight infants.
Enteral glutamine supplementation (L-glutamine, 0.3 g/kg per day) from 3 through 30 days of life.
Main Outcome Measures
The incidence of allergic and infectious diseases during the first year of life, as assessed by means of validated questionnaires.
Seventy-seven of 90 infants (86%) participated in the follow-up study. Baseline patient, maternal, and environmental characteristics did not differ between the glutamine-supplemented (n = 37) and control (n = 40) groups, except for the incidence of serious neonatal infections and child care attendance. After adjustment for confounding factors, the risk for atopic dermatitis was lower in the glutamine-supplemented group (odds ratio [OR], 0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.97). However, the incidence of bronchial hyperreactivity (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.10-1.21) and infections of the upper respiratory (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.35-2.79), lower respiratory (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.13-1.24), and gastrointestinal (OR 1.25, 95% CI 0.23-6.86) tracts was not different between the treatment groups.
Glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in very low-birth-weight infants decreased the incidence of atopic dermatitis during the first year of life but had no effect on the incidence of bronchial hyperreactivity and infectious diseases during the first year of life.