See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Breast-Feeding Tied to Child's Risk of Asthma Symptoms

Non-exclusive or never breast-feeding linked to increased risk of asthma symptoms in children

TUESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to exclusive breast-feeding and breast-feeding for six months, non-exclusive breast-feeding or never breast-feeding is associated with an increased risk of asthma-related symptoms in children during the first four years of their life, with the strongest association occurring in the first two years, according to a study published online July 20 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Agnes M.M. Sonnenschein-van der Voort, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues investigated the association between the duration and exclusiveness of breast-feeding with the risks of asthma-related symptoms and whether the associations are attributed to atopic or infectious mechanisms in 5,368 preschool children. Questionnaires were used to obtain data on breast-feeding duration, exclusiveness, and asthma-related symptoms, including wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough, and persistent phlegm.

The investigators found that, compared to children who were breast-fed for six months, the children who were never breast-fed had an overall increased risk of wheezing (odds ratio, [OR], 1.44), shortness of breath (OR, 1.26), dry cough (OR, 1.25), and persistent phlegm (OR, 1.57). Children who were not exclusively breast-fed had similar risks for asthma symptoms as those who were never breast-fed. Wheezing at one and two years showed the strongest association per symptom per year. After adjustments, the associations of breast-feeding with asthma-related symptoms were partially explained by lower respiratory tract infections but not by eczema.

"Our results suggest that a short duration of breast-feeding and non-exclusivity are associated with increased risks of the asthma-related symptoms during the first four years of life, with the strongest effect estimates during the first two years," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing


HealthDay is the world’s largest syndicator of health news and content, and providers of custom health/medical content.

Consumer Health News

A health news feed, reviewing the latest and most topical health stories.

Professional News

A news feed for Health Care Professionals (HCPs), reviewing latest medical research and approvals.