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Breastfed babies less likely to have eczema as teenagers

Date: 14 November 2017

New research shows babies whose mothers had received support to breastfeed exclusively for a sustained period from birth had a 54% lower risk of eczema at the age of 16.

The study, published today in JAMA Pediatrics, examined more than 13,000 Belarussian teenagers enrolled in the PROmotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) as new-born babies between June 1996 and December 1997.

Half of the maternity hospitals and paediatric clinics involved in the PROBIT study provided additional support modelled on the recommendations of the WHO and United Nations Children's Fund’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, while the other half continued their usual practices. While the study found that the breastfeeding promotion intervention provided protection against eczema there was no reduction in the risk of developing asthma between groups.

The study was carried out by researchers at King’s College London, Harvard University, University of Bristol and McGill University, with support from the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre.

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  • Summary:
    New research shows babies whose mothers had received support to breastfeed exclusively for a sustained period from birth had a 54% lower risk of eczema at the age of 16.
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  • Year of publication:
    2017
  • Specialty:
    Children
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