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Saudi Med J. 2001 Apr;22(4):347-50.

Relationship between breast-feeding duration and acute respiratory infections in infants.

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Family & Community Medicine Department, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To study the relationship of breast-feeding duration on the frequency of respiratory tract infections in infants during the first 2 years of life.


A retrospective study where the files of infants randomly selected from Shamasan Primary Health Care Center were analyzed for different related factors and frequencies of respiratory infections.


The mean duration of lactation was shorter than in previous national reports (5.1 +/- 3.4 months). The frequencies of respiratory infections were high in the first 2 years reaching an average of 9.2 +/- 4.1 attacks per infant. The lower respiratory tract suffered more frequent attacks than the upper averaging a rate of 5.6 +/- 2.6 attacks per infant compared to 3.7 +/- 2.2 attacks per infant. The multiple regression models pointed out to highly significant predictors for respiratory infection rates: Lactation duration (p < 0.001) for the 2 years rates, child rank (p < 0.001) for the first year rates and family income (p < 0.001) for the 2nd year rates.


The lactation duration has an important relation to the frequency of respiratory infections in infancy. Every effort should be made to encourage and support longer duration of breast-feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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