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Breastfed babies run lower atopic eczema risk

11 January 2018

Breastfeeding could cut a child’s risk of developing atopic eczema, says a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Baby eczema

It found that children whose mothers attended a breastfeeding support programme had a 54% lower risk of eczema as teenagers. It is the result of a project that began in Belarus in the 1990s at 31 maternity hospitals and one outpatient clinic.

Of two groups, one carried on as usual and the other had breastfeeding support. Babies in the study were then followed to explore the impact of the programme on lung function, asthma and eczema.

Results from more than 13,500 16-year-olds showed that 0.3% of those whose mothers took part in the breastfeeding programme had signs of eczema, compared to 0.7% of those whose mothers had standard care. While 39% of mothers in the programme breastfed exclusively for three to six months, just over 6% in standard care did the same. The authors say eczema is less common in Belarus than North America or western Europe, so the effects of breastfeedingmight not be as clear in those countries.

Read the study at bit.ly/PED_eczema

Picture credit | iStock

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