Background and aims Atopic diseases, which constantly increasing, are the most common diseases in childhood. For infants at risk, prophylaxis of atopy has been sought in elimination diets and other preventive measures. According to ISAAC phase III study, the prevalence rate of asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR) in Serbia is 6.59% for preschool children for asthma and 5.36% for school age children, where prevalence rate for AR is 7.17% for preschool children and 14.9% for school age children. Breastfeeding has been thought to reduce the risk of atopy in childhood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of breastfeeding on allergy development.
Methods 100 patients, aged 3–18 years, were involved in this observational study. Infant feeding history ( breast fed, formula fed, mixed fed) was collected during regular visits. The atopic diseases were diagnosed according to EAACI guidelines.
Results The subjects were divided into three groups based on whether they were breastfed, formula fed, or mixed fed (breast milk and formula) during the first six months of childhood. There were 58 in the breastfed group, 16 in the formula fed group, and 26 in the mixed group. Among all children who were breastfed, 41.1% developed atopy (42.9% of boys and 43.5% of girls). The number of atopic children was highest in the formula-feeding group (62.5% of children). In the mixed fed group, there were 80% of healthy children (equal% of boys and girls).
Conclusion This study demonstrated that exclusive breast-feeding wasn’t associated with prevention of allergic diseases. Although a breastfed infant is less exposed to foreign dietary antigen in cow’s milk, there are antigens in mother’s milk. More than 70 years ago it was hypothesised that infants might react to foods in the mother’s diet, such as egg or cow’s milk protein, transmitted through milk. But breastfeeding is still best for babies, although it may not protect against allergies.
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