This paper was published in the Journal of Pediatrics 2001 Aug;139(2):261-6
Study title and authors:
Breast-feeding and the risk of bronchial asthma in childhood: a systematic review with meta-analysis of prospective studies.
Gdalevich M, Mimouni D, Mimouni M.
Department of General Pediatrics, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tiqvah, Israel.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11487754
This paper was a review of 12 studies, the objective of which was to evaluate the association of exclusive breast-feeding during the first 3 months after birth on the development of childhood asthma.
The study found:
(a) Children that were exclusively breast-feeding during the first 3 months after birth had a 30% reduced risk of asthma.
(b) Children with a family history of atopy (atopy is a term that refers to allergic conditions which tend to cluster in families, including hay fever (allergic rhinitis), asthma, eczema, and other specific and non-specific allergic states) that were exclusively breast-feeding during the first 3 months after birth had a 48% reduced risk of asthma.
Exclusive breast-feeding during the first months after birth is associated with lower asthma rates during childhood, especially if there is a family history of atopy.