HealthDay News — Longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding may protect against childhood asthma, according to a study published online in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Keadrea Wilson, MD, from University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and colleagues investigated the association between breastfeeding duration and childhood asthma using data from 2021 mother-child dyads.

The researchers found that among women, 33% reported 0 to less than 2 months of breastfeeding, 13% 2 to 4 months, 9% 5 to 6 months, and 45% more than 6 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% 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 2 to 4 months, 5 to 6 months, and more than 6 months, respectively). Protective associations with exclusive breastfeeding tended to be stronger in dyads with children born by vaginal vs cesarean delivery.

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

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