Omega-3 fatty acids ineffective against bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preemies
Use of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (N-3 LCPUFAs) proves to be unsuccessful at preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants, according to the results of a meta-analysis.
Researchers searched multiple online databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effect of intervention with N-3 LCPUFAs (initiated within 1 month of birth) on the incidence of BPD or oxygen dependency for ≥28 days after birth or ≥36 weeks’ postmenstrual age in preterm infants (<37 weeks of gestation).
The meta-analysis included 14 trials, which involved 3,531 preterm infants in total. Pooled data revealed that N-3 LCPUFAs conferred no beneficial effect on the incidence of BPD in preterm infants (risk ratio, 0.99; 95 percent CI, 0.84–1.18; p=0.93).
Results were similar in subgroup analyses stratified by gestational age, birth weight, dosage of docosahexaenoic acid and duration of intervention.
The current findings provide no supporting evidence for current recommendations to administer N-3 LCPUFAs routinely, according to the researchers, who acknowledged that the main limitation of the meta-analysis is that the populations, protocols and pharmaceutical ingredients of N-3 LCPUFAs vary among the included trials.
More studies with larger sample sizes and long-term follow-up data are needed to establish whether the efficacy of N-3 LCPUFAs on BPD is affected by populations, protocols and the specific pharmaceutical ingredients of N-3 LCPUFAs, they added.