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The introduction of solids in relation to asthma and eczema
  1. A Zutavern1,
  2. E von Mutius1,
  3. J Harris2,
  4. P Mills2,
  5. S Moffatt2,
  6. C White2,
  7. P Cullinan2
  1. 1Dr von Haunersches Kinderspital (University Children’s Hospital); Lindwurmstr. 4, 80337 Munich, Germany
  2. 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Imperial College of Science and Technology (National Heart and Lung Institute), 1b Manresa Road, London SW3 6LR, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Dr A Zutavern
    von Haunersches Kinderspital, Lindwurmstr.4, 80337 Muenchen, Germany;


Background: Despite scarce scientific evidence, current feeding guidelines recommend delayed introduction of solids for the prevention of asthma and allergy.

Aims: To explore whether late introduction of solids is protective against the development of asthma, eczema, and atopy.

Methods: A total of 642 children were recruited before birth and followed to the age of 5½ years. Main outcome measures were: doctor’s diagnosis of eczema ever, atopy according to skin prick test results against inhalant allergens, preschool wheezing, transient wheezing, all defined at age 5–5½ years. Introduction of solids as main exposure measure was assessed retrospectively at age 1 year.

Results: There was no evidence for a protective effect of late introduction of solids for the development of preschool wheezing, transient wheezing, atopy, or eczema. On the contrary, there was a statistically significant increased risk of eczema in relation to late introduction of egg (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4) and milk (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.5). Late introduction of egg was furthermore associated with a non-significant increased risk of preschool wheezing (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 0.92 to 2.4). There was no statistical evidence of feeding practices playing a different role in the development of asthma and eczema after stratification for parental asthma and atopy status.

Conclusions: Results do not support the recommendations given by present feeding guidelines stating that a delayed introduction of solids is protective against the development of asthma and allergy.

  • cohort
  • eczema
  • nutrition
  • solids
  • wheezing
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  • The study was funded by the Colt foundation

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