Background: Breastfeeding reduces the risk of asthma in early childhood, but it is not clear whether its effect on respiratory morbidity is still present in later childhood. Objectives: To examine the associations of any breastfeeding, breastfeeding duration, and breastfeeding exclusiveness with lung function and asthma in school-aged children and whether associations were influenced by respiratory tract infections and maternal or child's atopic status. Methods: This study of 4,464 children was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study. Information on breastfeeding was obtained by multiple questionnaires from birth until 1 year of age. At 10 years of age, lung function was measured by spirometry, and information on asthma was obtained by questionnaire. Adjusted linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the associations. Results: Shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with a lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) only (z score change, -0.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.02 to -0.00) per month shorter breastfeeding, but not asthma. When categorized, breastfeeding for 2 to 4 months was associated with a lower forced vital capacity (FVC) (z score change, -0.11; 95% CI, -0.20 to -0.03) compared with breastfeeding for 6 months or longer. Nonexclusive breastfeeding for 4 months was associated with a lower FVC (z score change, -0.08; 95% CI, -0.16 to -0.01) compared with exclusive breastfeeding for 4 months. Results did not materially change after additional adjustment for lower respiratory tract infections and were not modified by maternal history of asthma or atopy, child's eczema, or inhalant allergic sensitization. Conclusion: Shorter duration and nonexclusivity of breastfeeding were associated with a lower FEV1 and FVC but not asthma at school-age.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
van Meel, E.R. (Evelien R.), de Jong, M. (Mandy), Elbert, N.J, den Dekker, H.T, Reiss, I.K.M, de Jongste, J.C, … Duijts, L. (2017). Duration and exclusiveness of breastfeeding and school-age lung function and asthma. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2017.05.002