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The Pediatric Forum |

Asthma, Breastfeeding, and Hypoallergenic Formula

Brian W. Donnelly, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(2):203-204. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.2.199.
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It was encouraging to read about the ambitious program undertaken by Chan-Yeung and colleagues1 to reduce the incidence of asthma through early intervention. However, I have 2 major concerns about the methods employed regarding "dietary avoidance." First, partial breastfeeding is never defined. The interested reader cannot determine whether the infants were breastfed once per day or 5 times per day. Since the benefits of breastfeeding tend to be dose-related, the amount of breast milk a baby actually ingests becomes an important clinical question. The failure to accurately define partial (vs token vs almost exclusive) breastfeeding makes the results of this study less reliable and less useful. It is imperative that researchers use consistent and valid definitions of breastfeeding to increase the comparability of data collected from different sites.2

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