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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 8;9(1):e84956. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084956. eCollection 2014.

Breastfeeding and snoring: a birth cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; The University of Sydney Medical School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 2Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden ; Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Lung and Allergy Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 3The University of Sydney Medical School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 4Atkins Center for Weight and Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.
  • 5Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; The University of Sydney Medical School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia ; The University of Sydney Nursing School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relationship between breastfeeding and snoring in childhood.

METHODS:

In a cohort of children with a family history of asthma who were recruited antenatally we prospectively recorded data on infant feeding practices throughout the first year of life. Snoring status and witnessed sleep apnea were measured at age 8 years by parent-completed questionnaire. Associations were estimated by logistic regression with, and without, adjustment for sets of confounders designed to exclude biasing effects.

RESULTS:

Habitual snoring was reported in 18.8% of the sample, and witnessed apnea in 2.7%. Any breastfeeding for longer than one month was associated with a reduced risk of habitual snoring at age 8 (adjusted OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.81) and duration of breastfeeding was inversely associated with the prevalence of habitual snoring (adjusted OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.00). Any breastfeeding for longer than 1 month was associated with a lower risk of witnessed sleep apnea (adjusted OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.71). The protective associations were not mediated by BMI, current asthma, atopy or rhinitis at age 8 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Breastfeeding for longer than one month decreases the risk of habitual snoring and witnessed apneas in this cohort of children with a family history of asthma. The underlying mechanism remains unclear but the finding would be consistent with a beneficial effect of the breast in the mouth on oropharyngeal development with consequent protection against upper airway dysfunction causing sleep-disordered breathing.

PMID:
24416321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3885662
Free PMC Article
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