Association between breastfeeding and eczema during childhood and adolescence: A cohort study.
journal contributionposted on 2018-05-10, 14:17 authored by Jingying Wang, Alban Ramette, Maja Jurca, Myrofora Goutaki, Caroline S. Beardsmore, Claudia E. Kuehni
BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding is said to protect children from eczema (atopic dermatitis), but the available evidence is conflicting and subject to the influences of parental atopy and reverse causation (when mothers extended duration of breastfeeding because their children had eczema). METHODS: In the prospective, population-based Leicester Respiratory Cohort study, we assessed duration of breastfeeding in children aged 1-4 years. Prevalence of eczema was determined by questionnaire surveys that were repeated until the children were 17 years old. We investigated the association between having been breastfed and current eczema using generalized estimating equations, adjusting for potential confounders, and tested for effect modification by parental atopy. We also assessed the association between having been breastfed and incident eczema at ages 2, 4, and 6 years using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Among the 5,676 children in the study, 2,284 (40%) had never been breastfed, while 1,610 (28%), 705 (12%), and 1,077 (19%) had been breastfed for 0-3, 4-6, and >6 months, respectively. Prevalence of current eczema decreased from 36% in 1-year-olds to 18% in children aged 10-17 years. Breastfeeding was not associated with current eczema. Compared with children who had never been breastfed, the adjusted odds ratios for current eczema at any age were 1.02 (95% confidence interval 0.90-1.15) for children who had been breastfed for 0-3 months, 0.97 (0.82-1.13) for children breastfed for 4-6 months, and 0.98 (0.85-1.14) for children breastfed for >6 months. There was no strong evidence for an effect modification by parental atopy (p-value for interaction term was 0.061) and no association between having been breastfed and incident eczema later in childhood. CONCLUSIONS: This population-based cohort study found no evidence for protection of breastfeeding against childhood eczema at any age, from infancy through adolescence.
CitationPLoS One, 2017, 12 (9), e0185066
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
- VoR (Version of Record)