Breastfeeding associated with higher lung function in African American youths with asthma

Oh, S.; Du, R.; Zeiger, A. M.; McGarry, M. E.; Hu, D.; Thakur, N.; Pino-Yanes, M.; Galanter, J. M.; Farber, H. J.; Eng, C.; Nishimura, K. K.; Huntsman, S.; Meade, K.; Avila, P.; Serebrisky, D.; Bibbins-Domingo, K.; Lenoir, M. A.; Ford, J. G.; Brigino-Buenaventura, E.; Rodriguez-Cintron, W.; Thyne, S. M.; Sen, S.; Rodriguez-Santana, J. R.; Williams, K.; Kumar, R.; Burchard, E. G.

J Asthma. 2016 Dec 9; 0


Objective In the United States, Puerto Ricans and African Americans have lower prevalence of breastfeeding and worse clinical outcomes for asthma compared with other racial/ethnic groups. We hypothesize that history of breastfeeding is associated with increased forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) % predicted and reduced asthma exacerbations in Latino and African American youths with asthma. Methods As part of Study A and Study B, we conducted case-only analyses in children and adolescents aged 8-21 years old with asthma from four different racial/ethnic groups: African Americans (n = 426), Mexican Americans (n = 424), mixed/other Latinos (n = 255), and Puerto Ricans (n = 629). We investigated the association between any breastfeeding in infancy and FEV1% predicted as well as asthma exacerbations using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. Results Prevalence of breastfeeding was lower in African Americans (59.4%) and Puerto Ricans (54.9%) compared to Mexican Americans (76.2%) and mixed/other Latinos (66.9%; p<0.001). After adjusting for covariates, breastfeeding was associated with a 3.58 percentage point increase in FEV1% predicted (p = 0.01) and a 21% reduction in asthma exacerbations (p = 0.03) in African Americans only. Conclusion Breastfeeding was associated with higher FEV1% predicted in asthma and reduced number of asthma exacerbations in African American youths, calling attention for continued support for breastfeeding.

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