Breastfeeding and the risk of hospitalization for respiratory disease in infancy

A meta-analysis

Virginia R. Galton Bachrach, Eleanor Schwarz, Lela Rose Bachrach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine breastfeeding and the risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract disease in healthy full-term infants with access to modern medical care. Data Sources: MEDLINE, personal communication with researchers, the OVID databases, Dissertation Abstracts Online, and BIOSIS. Study Selection: The titles, abstracts, and text of studies from developed countries were explored for breastfeeding exposure measures and lower respiratory tract disease hospitalization rates. For summary statistics, we required 3 inclusion criteria: (1) a feeding contrast of a minimum of 2 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no formula supplementation) vs no breastfeeding and (2) study populations that excluded sick, low birth weight or premature infants and (3) reflected affluent regions; 27% of studies met these criteria. Data Extraction: We abstracted data from all relevant reports. Data Synthesis: Data from all primary material (33 studies) indicated a protective association between breastfeeding and the risk of respiratory disease hospitalization. Nine studies met all inclusion criteria, and 7 cohort studies were pooled. The feeding contrasts in these 7 studies were 4 or more months of exclusive breastfeeding vs no breastfeeding. The summary relative risk (95% confidence interval) was 0.28 (0.14-0.54), using a random-effects model. This effect remained stable and statistically significant after adjusting for the effects of smoking or socioeconomic status. Conclusion: Among generally healthy infants in developed nations, more than a tripling in severe respiratory tract illnesses resulting in hospitalizations was noted for infants who were not breastfed compared with those who were exclusively breastfed for 4 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume157
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

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Breast Feeding
Meta-Analysis
Hospitalization
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Developed Countries
Information Storage and Retrieval
Low Birth Weight Infant
Premature Infants
Social Class
MEDLINE
Respiratory System
Cohort Studies
Smoking
Communication
Research Personnel
Databases
Confidence Intervals
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Breastfeeding and the risk of hospitalization for respiratory disease in infancy : A meta-analysis. / Galton Bachrach, Virginia R.; Schwarz, Eleanor; Bachrach, Lela Rose.

In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 157, No. 3, 01.03.2003, p. 237-243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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