Is human milk feeding protective for Retinopathy of Prematurity? | Muneer | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Is human milk feeding protective for Retinopathy of Prematurity?

Ayesha Muneer, Attia Bari, Summaira Naveed, Agha Shabbir Ali


Objective: To find the association between breast milk feeding with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study to examine the effects of breast milk feeding on ROP. Premature newborns below 34 weeks from neonatal unit retinopathy of prematurity program during the years 2015 to 2017 of The Lahore General Hospital were included. We recorded the gestational age, birth weight, presence of ROP and the type of feeding (breastfeeding vs. formula milk).

Results: Out of 428 preterm babies 210 (49%) were males. More babies were between 32-34 weeks of gestation 229 (53.5%) as compared to < 32 weeks 199 (46.5%). Among all 428 preterm infants 19(4.4%) developed ROP. Majority 13 (68.4%) who developed ROP were <32 weeks of gestation (p=0.042). The mean birth weight of infants without ROP was 1.51± 0.36 kg (95%CI; 1.47-1.55), while it was 1.36 ± 0.29 kg (95%CI; 1.22-1.50) with ROP and all who developed ROP were < 2kg. The estimated odds ratio of developing ROP for breast fed versus top feeding was (ORs: 0.571, 95% CI; 0.222- 1.489). There was a trend toward lower incidence of ROP in the group of newborns who received breast-feeding (36.8%) as compared to top feeding (63.2%) but almost similar percentage who didn’t develop ROP were breast fed or top fed with statistically insignificant results (p= 0.24).

Conclusions: Slightly lesser percentage of preterm babies who were breast fed developed retinopathy of prematurity.


How to cite this:Muneer A, Bari A, Naveed S, Ali AS. Is human milk feeding protective for Retinopathy of Prematurity? Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(6):1534-1538.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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