Breastfeeding in early infancy decreases risk of allergies and asthma
Breastfeeding for the first 3 months reduced risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age, according to a new study.
Asthma and respiratory allergies are very common global medical conditions, and they have an impact on lives of hundreds of millions of children under the age 18 years.Respiratory allergies and asthma are caused by the interplay between genetic, environmental and immunological factors
The Researchers examined the associations between breastfeeding and respiratory allergies and types of asthma in American children.
In an Acta Paediatrica study, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months was linked with a lower risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age.
In the study of 1,177 mother-infant pairs, a third of the children were exclusively breastfed until the age of 3 months. By the age of 6 years, 20.8% of children had been diagnosed with respiratory allergies and 11.3% with asthma.
Exclusive breastfeeding for 3 months was associated with a 23% lower relative risk of respiratory allergies at the age of 6 years. It was also associated with a 34% lower relative risk of asthma, but only if the children did not have a family history of asthma.
Breastfeeding for 3 months, but not exclusively, was insufficient to reduce the risk of respiratory allergies or asthma.
The researchers concluded that exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months may reduce the risk of respiratory allergies and asthma in children 6 years of age, but concerning asthma, statistical significance was reached only in children without a family predisposition to asthma.
The study confirmed that exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a reduced risk of respiratory allergies, and that asthma risk was reduced even in the absence of family history of asthma.
"Airway disorders such as respiratory allergies and some asthma may be prevented in some cases by encouraging exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months, as human milk was potentially beneficial in reducing the risk of airway disorders among children," said author Galya Bigman, PhD, of the University of Maryland, Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine.
For more details click on the link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.15162