Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 343
Objectives: The USDA and HHS initiated the Pregnancy and Birth to 24 Months project to examine important public health topics for these populations with systematic reviews (SRs). The purpose of this SR is to examine the relationship between human milk feeding and food allergies, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma in offspring throughout the lifespan.
Methods: A SR team identified articles in PubMed, Cochrane, Embase, and CINAHL with a date range of 01/1980-03/2016 that met a priori inclusion criteria. After dual-screening the search results, extracting data from the included studies, and assessing their risk of bias, the SR team synthesized the evidence by age group, drew conclusion statements, and graded the strength of the evidence.
Results: Thirty-five articles examined the duration of any human milk feeding, 1 examined the duration of exclusive human milk feeding prior to the introduction of infant formula, 45 examined never vs ever feeding human milk, and no studies examined the intensity, proportion, or amount of human milk fed to mixed-fed infants or fed by breast vs bottle. Most conclusion statements were graded limited or grade not assignable. However, moderate evidence suggests that shorter vs longer durations of any human milk feeding are associated with a higher risk of asthma in childhood and adolescence. Also, never vs ever being fed human milk may be associated with a higher risk of childhood asthma.
Conclusions: While there was some evidence of a relationship between the duration of any human milk feeding and never vs ever feeding human milk and asthma, most of which was observational, additional studies are needed to confirm the findings and address the research gaps related to other human milk-feeding practices and other atopy outcomes. Researchers should address critical confounders and temporality, and all variables should be clearly defined and collected with validated methods.
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Alexandria, VA and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD.