Infant formulas containing hydrolysed protein for prevention of allergic disease.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 10 19; 10:CD003664.CD
Infant formulas containing hydrolysed proteins have been widely advocated for preventing allergic disease in infants, in place of standard cow's milk formula (CMF). However, it is unclear whether the clinical trial evidence supports this.
To compare effects on allergic disease when infants are fed a hydrolysed formula versus CMF or human breast milk. If hydrolysed formulas are effective, to determine what type of hydrolysed formula is most effective, including extensively or partially hydrolysed formula (EHF/PHF). To determine whether infants at low or high risk of allergic disease, and whether infants receiving early short-term (first few days after birth) or prolonged formula feeding benefit from hydrolysed formulas.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2017, Issue 11), MEDLINE (1948 to 3 November 2017), and Embase (1974 to 3 November 2017). We also searched clinical trials databases, conference proceedings, and the reference lists of retrieved articles and previous reviews for randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised trials.
We searched for randomised and quasi-randomised trials that compared use of a hydrolysed formula versus human milk or CMF. Outcomes with ≥ 80% follow-up of participants from eligible trials were eligible for inclusion.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two review authors independently selected trials, assessed trial quality and extracted data from the included studies. Fixed-effect analyses were performed. The treatment effects were expressed as risk ratio (RR) and risk difference (RD) with 95% confidence intervals and quality of evidence using the GRADE quality of evidence approach. The primary outcome was all allergic disease (including asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and food allergy).
A total of 16 studies were included.Two studies assessed the effect of three to four days infant supplementation with an EHF while in hospital after birth versus pasteurised human milk feed. A single study enrolling 90 infants reported no difference in all allergic disease (RR 1.43, 95% CI 0.38 to 5.37) or any specific allergic disease up to childhood including cow's milk allergy (CMA) (RR 7.11, 95% CI 0.35 to 143.84). A single study reported no difference in infant CMA (RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.46; participants = 3559). Quality of evidence was assessed as very low for all outcomes.No eligible trials compared prolonged hydrolysed formula versus human milk feeding.Two studies assessed the effect of three to four days infant supplementation with an EHF versus a CMF. A single study enrolling 90 infants reported no difference in all allergic disease (RR 1.37, 95% CI 0.33 to 5.71; participants = 77) or any specific allergic disease including CMA up to childhood. A single study reported a reduction in infant CMA of borderline significance (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.00; participants = 3473). Quality of evidence was assessed as very low for all outcomes.Twelve studies assessed the effect of prolonged infant feeding with a hydrolysed formula compared with a CMF. The data showed no difference in all allergic disease in infants (typical RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.01; participants = 2852; studies = 8) and children (typical RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.05; participants = 950; studies = 2), and no difference in any specific allergic disease including infant asthma (typical RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.31 to 1.04; participants = 318; studies = 4), eczema (typical RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.09; participants = 2896; studies = 9), rhinitis (typical RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.14 to 1.85; participants = 256; studies = 3), food allergy (typical RR 1.42, 95% CI 0.87 to 2.33; participants = 479; studies = 2), and CMA (RR 2.31, 95% CI 0.24 to 21.97; participants = 338; studies = 1). Quality of evidence was assessed as very low for all outcomes.