Children who had normal delivery and those who were breastfeed had lower chances of developing allergies, according to study results presented at the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Scientific Meeting.
“These results add to our growing knowledge about the impact of delivery mode and infant feeding mode on predisposition to allergic disease,” said Dr Stanislaw of department of allergy and immunology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“They suggest that vaginal delivery and breastfeeding correlate with reduced risk and reduced the burden of allergic disease.”
To study the impact of delivery and nutrition on multiple medical conditions, researchers evaluated patients in a virtual birth cohort consisting of infants who were treated at 31 different primary care sites. Computer Software was used to identify patients with zero, at least one, two, three, or four allergic conditions, including eczema, IgE-mediated food allergy and asthma.
Researchers then calculated hazard ratio to assess the effects of vaginal and caesarean delivery and how the infant was fed — breastmilk, formula, or both — on developing allergic conditions.
Vaginal delivery and breastfeeding was found to be associated with reduced rate of developing the allergic conditions.
“From a practical standpoint, this suggests that using breastmilk when possible could be predisposed to less allergic disease over time,” Dr Stanislaw said.
He noted that while there are many factors that go into decisions regarding feeding and mode of delivery, still physicians should consider the above factors while advising their patients.
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