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Racial/ethnic disparities and human milk use in necrotizing enterocolitis. Pediatric research Goldstein, G. P., Pai, V. V., Liu, J. n., Sigurdson, K. n., Vernon, L. B., Lee, H. C., Sylvester, K. G., Shaw, G. M., Profit, J. n. 2020; 88 (Suppl 1): 3–9


The impact of human milk use on racial/ethnic disparities in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) incidence is unknown.Trends in NEC incidence and human milk use at discharge were evaluated by race/ethnicity among 47,112 very low birth weight infants born in California from 2008 to 2017. We interrogated the association between race/ethnicity and NEC using multilevel regression analysis, and evaluated the effect of human milk use at discharge on the relationship between race/ethnicity and NEC using mediation analysis.Annual NEC incidence declined across all racial/ethnic groups from an aggregate average of 4.8% in 2008 to 2.6% in 2017. Human milk use at discharge increased over the time period across all racial groups, and non-Hispanic (NH) black infants received the least human milk each year. In multivariable analyses, Hispanic ethnicity (odds ratio (OR) 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.57) and Asian or Pacific Islander race (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.01-1.80) were each associated with higher odds of NEC, while the association of NH black race with NEC was attenuated after adding human milk use at discharge to the model. Mediation analysis revealed that human milk use at discharge accounted for 22% of the total risk of NEC in non-white vs. white infants, and 44% in black vs. white infants.Although NEC incidence has declined substantially over the past decade, a sizable racial/ethnic disparity persists. Quality improvement initiatives augmenting human milk use may further reduce the incidence of NEC in vulnerable populations.

View details for DOI 10.1038/s41390-020-1073-5

View details for PubMedID 32855505