Adult patients with ankylosing spondylitis were less likely to have been breast-fed as infants, according to a recently published retrospective study.
Researchers studied 203 patients (mean age of 45 years) with HLA-B27-positive ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who fulfilled modified New York criteria and had known childhood breast-feeding status. Investigators recruited a healthy control group comprised of 293 siblings (mean age of 47 years) with complete data, including breast-feeding status. Researchers excluded patients with reactive arthritis and control participants who were adopted or had an inflammatory or autoimmune condition. The study also included 280 unrelated healthy controls.
A total of 119 participants across all groups were breast-fed as infants for at least 48-hours. The mean duration of breast-feeding was 9.25 weeks for patients with AS and 9.43 weeks for participants without AS.
Statistical analysis showed that 57% of patients with AS were breast-fed compared to 72% of healthy siblings. The mean age of onset of AS was 30 years, and this was not associated with breast-feeding.
Of 38 children who were only fed with bottles, 40.4% developed AS. Of 18 families with mixed feeding via bottle and breast, nine patients developed AS and had not been breast-fed.
Birth order, decade of birth or the number of children born to a mother were not associated with the development of AS. A lower frequency of breast-feeding was seen in patients with RA, but the trend did not reach statistical significance. – by Shirley Pulawski
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.