Effect of Breast Feeding During the First 6 Months of Life on Development of Atopic Dermatitis in 1 year Old Infants

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Pediatrics.Department of Pediatrics, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.Department of Pediatrics, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

3 Pediatrician.Department of Pediatrics, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

4 Medical Doctor. Ahvaz City Health Center

5 Medical Doctor. Ahvaz City Health Center.


Background and Objective: Atopic dermatitis is an inherited, chronic and relapsing skin disease. Although it is generally believed that breast-feeding has a protective effect on developing asthma and atopic dermatitis, nowadays, some researchers question this idea and suggest that breast feeding may be a risk factor for atopic dermatitis. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of exclusive breast feeding in the first 6 month of life on development of atopic dermatitis in infants till one year of age.
Subjects and Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, parents of infants who visited four health centers in ahvaz, the capital of Khozestan province, Iran, for MMR vaccination at 12
 months of age were questioned about the kind of their infants feeding till 6 months age. Infants were divided to two groups, exclusive and non-exclusive breast- fed. The number of cases for each group was followed till 511 infants were reached. Frequency of atopic dermatitis in each group was investigated.
Results: Atopic dermatitis was noted in 22.3% of them. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis in non-exclusive breast fed infants was higher (P<0.001).  The frequency of atopic dermatitis in exclusively and non-exclusively breast-fed infants was 15.35 and 29.25 %  respectively. Odds ratio for exclusively breast fed infants was 19.36%, 95%CI (11.35%-19.58%) and for non-exclusively breast fed infants was 29.64%, 95%CI (25.26-34.07).
Conclusion: Exclusive breast feeding not only decrease the frequency of atopic dermatitis in infants, but also decrease the risk of development of atopic dermatitis in infants with positive family history for atopia. 


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