(HealthDay News) — Breastfeeding a premature infant may help reduce the risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), according to research published online Nov. 16 in Pediatrics.

Researchers from China, Canada, and the United Kingdom reanalyzed the results of five published studies on ROP. The studies included 2,208 preterm infants, comparing how often infants had been fed human milk or formula, and whether or not they developed ROP.

The researchers said that when infants were exclusively fed breast milk, the risk of any stage ROP appeared to drop by 75 percent. And the risk of severe ROP seemed to be reduced by 90 percent.

“Human milk feeding potentially plays a strong role in protecting very preterm newborns from any stage ROP and severe ROP,” the authors write.

Full Text