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Systematic reviews suggest that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of asthma, although marked heterogeneity exists. Using UK Millennium Cohort Study data (n = 10,126 children born 2000-2001), we examined the association between breastfeeding duration and wheezing in the past year, first at each age-group separately (age 9 months, 3, 5, 7 and 11 years) and then as a longitudinal wheezing phenotype: 'early transient' (wheezing any time up to age 5 but not thereafter); 'late onset' (any time from age 7 but not beforehand); 'persistent' (any time up to age 5 and any time from age 7). The association between breastfeeding and wheeze varied by age (interaction two-sided P = 0.0003). For example, breastfeeding for 6-9 months was associated with lower odds of wheezing at age 9 months, 3, and 5 years, but less so at age 7 and 11 years (adjusted odds ratios 0.73, 0.78, 0.79, 0.84, 1.06 respectively). There was a strong dose response relationship for breastfeeding per month and early transient wheeze (adjusted linear trend OR 0.961, 95% CI: 0.942, 0.980), but no clear trend for late onset or persistent wheeze. Our results identified heterogeneity in the association between breastfeeding and wheezing according to age at wheezing and wheezing phenotype.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/aje/kwy057

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Epidemiol

Publication Date

03/04/2018