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Acta Paediatr. 2015 Dec;104(467):85-95. doi: 10.1111/apa.13151.

Breastfeeding and childhood acute otitis media: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Allergy and Lung Health Unit, Centre of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
2
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
3
Institute of Inflammation and Repair, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
4
NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Chronic Respiratory Disease, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia.

Abstract

AIM:

To synthesise the evidence on the association between duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding and the risk of acute otitis media (AOM).

METHODS:

Systematic review and meta-analysis following searching of PubMed, CINAHL and EMBASE electronic databases.

RESULTS:

Twenty-four studies, all from the USA or Europe, met the inclusion criteria. In the pooled analyses, any form of breastfeeding was found to be protective for AOM in the first 2 years of life. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months was associated with the greatest protection (OR 0.57 95% CI 0.44, 0.75), followed by 'more vs less' breastfeeding (OR 0.67; 0.59, 0.76) and 'ever vs never' breastfeeding (OR 0.67; 0.56, 0.80).

CONCLUSION:

This systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that breastfeeding protects against AOM until 2 years of age, but protection is greater for exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding of longer duration. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months was associated with around a 43% reduction in ever having AOM in the first 2 years of life. After 2 years of age, there is no evidence that breastfeeding protects against AOM; however, there were few studies and the evidence quality was low.

KEYWORDS:

Breastfeeding; Child; Formula feeding; Otitis media

PMID:
26265016
DOI:
10.1111/apa.13151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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