Date: 26 Jan 2012

Prolonged exclusive breastfeeding, autumn birth and increased gestational age are associated with lower risk of fever in children with hand, foot, and mouth disease

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Epidemics of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) have been emerging and reemerging in recent years. This study aims to investigate whether breastfeeding and other factors may affect the profile of fever and disease course in children with HFMD. Three hundred seventy-two preschool children with HFMD were included. The demographics, environmental factors, and delivery- and feeding-associated factors in the children were obtained and their effects on the profile of fever and disease course were analyzed. Of the 372 children, 139 (37.37%) had fever during the disease course. Gender, breastfeeding pattern, birth season and gestational age were significantly different between the children with and without fever (p = 0.034, p < 0.0001, p = 0.035 and p = 0.013, respectively). After multivariate-adjusted analysis, prolonged exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.001, OR 0.401, 95% CI 0.229–0.704), autumn birth (p = 0.007, OR 0.409, 95% CI 0.214–0.784) and higher gestational age (p = 0.029, OR 0.089, 95% CI 0.010–0.781) were protective factors for the incidence of fever.