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Effect of prolonged breast-feeding on risk of atopic dermatitis in early childhood

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The effect of breast-feeding on the risk of developing atopic disease remains controversial. This study is an investigation of the effect of breast-feeding on current atopic dermatitis (AD) among Korean children. This cross-sectional study of children's histories of current AD and environmental factors was completed by the subjects' parents. The subjects included 10,383 children aged 0‐13 years in Seoul, Korea, in 2008. The diagnostic criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood were applied in this study. Adjustments were performed for age, gender, maternal education, smoking in the household, relocation to a new house within 1 year of birth, and parental history of atopic disease. After adjustment for confounders, age and duration of maternal education were found to be inversely associated with the prevalence of AD. Among subjects aged ≤5 years, the prevalence of AD was positively associated with the duration of breast-feeding (p < 0.001). However, there was no significant association between AD and breast-feeding among children >5 years of age. Regardless of parental history of atopic diseases, breast-feeding >12 months was a significant risk factor for AD. The effect of breast-feeding differed by age group. Prolonged breast-feeding increased the risk of AD in children <5 years of age, regardless of parental history of atopic diseases.

Keywords: Adjustment; allergy; atopic dermatitis; breast-feeding; children; cross-sectional study; risk factor

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Environmental Health Research, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Publication date: January 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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