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The Effect of Breastfeeding on Childhood Otitis Media

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the literature regarding the association between breastfeeding and childhood otitis media (OM), with focus on the literature published within the past 5 years. The review comprises original articles and recent reviews.

Recent Findings

The effect of a protective effect of breastfeeding on the risk of OM is still being discussed. Within the past 5 years, 6 reviews and 15 original articles have been published. No randomized controlled trials have been published, and the diversity of exposure and outcome measures in the studies was significant. Also, we provide a summary of the recent literature on cost-benefit of breastfeeding and believed mechanism of protection against OM.

Summary

Breastfeeding for more than 6 months seems to protect against OM during the first 6 years of life. Exclusive breastfeeding may have a more protective effect than non-exclusive breastfeeding. Introduction of formula feeding before the age of 6 months increased the risk of OM.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Asbjørn Kørvel-Hanquist.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Otitis

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Kørvel-Hanquist, A., Djurhuus, B.D. & Homøe, P. The Effect of Breastfeeding on Childhood Otitis Media. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 17, 45 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-017-0712-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-017-0712-3

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Breast milk
  • Otitis media
  • Review
  • Childhood infection
  • Epidemiology