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Human milk feeding and wheeze in Black infants born preterm



To determine the association between human milk exposure at 3 months corrected gestational age and recurrent wheeze in preterm Black infants.


This is a secondary analysis of data from the D-Wheeze trial ( identifier NCT01601847). Associations between human milk feeding at 3 months corrected age and wheezing outcomes were examined by generalized linear models.


Exclusively human milk fed infants (n = 13) had significantly fewer wheezing episodes than formula fed infants (n = 230) (IRR (95% CI) = 0.25 (0.07, 0.89), p = 0.03). There were no hospitalizations in infants receiving exclusive human milk. Receiving any human milk was associated with decreased odds of hospitalization by 12 months corrected age (OR (95% CI) = 0.12 (0.02, 0.79), p = 0.03).


Exclusive human milk feeding at three months corrected gestational age is associated with decreased number of wheezing episodes in the first year of life in preterm Black infants.

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Fig. 1: Human milk feeding and recurrent wheeze.
Fig. 2: Human milk feeding and total wheezing episodes per year.

Data availability

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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This research was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Office of Dietary Supplement of the National Institutes of Health (R01HL109293) and by the NHLBI (K24HL143291). The authors would like to thank the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Foundation Fellow Research Award Program for funding of this study.


This study was funded by the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Foundation, NHLBI and ODS (R01HL109293) and by the NHLBI (K24HL143291).

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Authors and Affiliations



ACB was responsible for study design, literature review, creation of tables and figures, and drafting the original manuscript. NM provided database management and data retrieval as well as manuscript review and revisions. ZC and CT performed statistical analysis and interpretation, and contributed to manuscript writing. LF and KR assisted with study design and manuscript review and revisions. AMH assisted with study design, interpretation of results, and manuscript writing and revisions.

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Correspondence to Anna Crist Benson.

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Benson, A.C., Chen, Z., Minich, N.M. et al. Human milk feeding and wheeze in Black infants born preterm. J Perinatol (2022).

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