Breastfeeding lowers childhood eczema risk
Mothers who exclusively breastfed for longer than 3 months significantly lowered their child’s risk of eczema, according to findings presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting.
“There is mixed evidence on whether breastfeeding is a protective factor for the development of eczema; furthermore, the impact of breastfeeding exclusivity remains unclear,” Katherine M. Balas, BS, BA, clinical research assistant with the Children’s National Health Systems in Washington, D.C., and colleagues wrote.
Researchers analyzed data from 1,520 participants of Infant Feeding Practices Study II and its Year 6 follow-up.
Balas and colleagues found that among the 20.33% of patients who had ever been diagnosed with eczema, 58.58% had the condition at 6 years of age. Children exclusively breastfed for 3 months or more had significantly lower odds of continued eczema at age 6 (adjusted OR = 0.477; 95% CI, 0.259-0.878) vs. those breastfed 0 to 3 months or never breastfed.
“Our next steps should explore how the mother’s diet while breastfeeding comes into play and whether this protection against eczema continues into adolescence and ultimately, adulthood,” Balas said in a press release. – by Janel Miller
Reference: Balas KM, et al. “Exclusive breastfeeding in infancy and eczema diagnosis at 6 years of age.” Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting; Feb. 22-25, 2019; San Francisco.
Disclosures: Healio Primary Care Today was unable to determine the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.