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Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2005 Oct;94(449):115-9.

Z-score of weight for age of infants with atopic dermatitis and cow's milk allergy fed with a rice-hydrolysate formula during the first two years of life.

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Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita, Department of Paediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.



Recently, rice-based formulas have been widely used in hypoallergenic diets, but data on nutritional values are scarce.


To evaluate the growth of infants fed with a rice-based hydrolysate formula, compared to those infants fed with a soy formula or an extensively hydrolysed casein formula, in the first 2 y of life.


A total of 88 infants were enrolled between March 2002 and March 2004. Fifty-eight infants with atopic dermatitis (AD) and cow's milk allergy (CMA), confirmed by open challenge, were enrolled as study group: 15 were fed with a rice-based hydrolysate formula (RHF), 17 with a soy-based formula (SF) and 26 with an extensively hydrolysed casein formula (eHCF). Thirty infants with AD without cow's milk allergy were recruited as a control group (CG) and fed with a free diet. Weight was recorded on enrolment and at 3-monthly intervals in the first year of life, and at 6-monthly intervals in the second year. Infants were weighed naked, before feeding, by means of an electronic integrating scale. The z-scores of weight for age were calculated.


One-way analysis of variance and Student's t-test were used for statistical comparison. Significance was set at p<0.05.


No significant differences between the RHF, SF and eHCF groups were observed for the z-score of weight for age during the first 2 y of life, but a significantly lower difference was seen in the RHF group compared to the control group in the intervals 9 mo-1 y (p=0.025) and 1-1.5 y (p=0.020) of age. In contrast, the SF and eHCF groups were comparable to the control group, but the eHCF group was significantly lower (p=0) in the first trimester of life.


Even if our findings show no significant difference between RHF and control, low weight observed in infants fed with RHF raises doubts about the nutritional adequacy of rice-hydrolysate formulas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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