In Asthma Risk Lower In Breastfed Babies, Medical News Today reports on a Dutch study which found that babies who are exclusively breastfed up to the age of six months have a lower risk of developing asthma-related symptoms in early childhood.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in The Netherlands and was published online in the European Respiratory Journal. The researchers emphasize that their findings support current recommendations that infants in industrialized countries should only receive breast milk up to the age of six month.
This study is part of a broader body of research called the Generation R Study, which is ‘following thousands of multi-ethnic urban children from before birth until early adulthood, to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health,’ according to Medical News Today.
While previous studies have linked breastfeeding and asthma risk, this study is the first to show a link between duration of breastfeeding and number of wheezing periods.
Researchers summed up their conclusion in the following statement: ‘Shorter duration and non-exclusivity of breastfeeding were associated with increased risks of asthma-related symptoms in preschool children. These associations seemed at least partly explained by infectious but not by atopic mechanisms.’