WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding may protect against childhood asthma, according to a study published online May 9 in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Keadrea Wilson, M.D., from University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and colleagues investigated the association between breastfeeding duration and childhood asthma using data from 2,021 mother-child dyads.

The researchers found that among women, 33 percent reported zero to less than two months of breastfeeding, 13 percent two to four months, 9 percent five to six months, and 45 percent more than six months. Any breastfeeding had a protective linear trend only for ever asthma. The protective effect was duration dependent for exclusive breastfeeding and current asthma (adjusted odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.64 [0.41 to 1.02], 0.61 [0.38 to 0.98], and 0.52 [0.31 to 0.87] for two to four months, five to six months, and more than six months, respectively). Protective associations with exclusive breastfeeding tended to be stronger in dyads with children born by vaginal versus cesarean delivery.

“Our study strengthens current breastfeeding recommendations which reflect recent analysis that show lower risk of asthma with more versus less breastfeeding,” Wilson said in a statement.

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