- School-aged children who were breastfed experienced less air pollution-related decline in lung function than their peers who were not breastfed, according to findings from a Chinese study.
- The effect was especially pronounced in younger children.
Why this matters
- Few data have explored this link using direct measurement of lung function.
- Cross-sectional study, previously breastfed and nonbreastfed children ages 7-14 years in 7 cities (n=6740).
- Using geocoding, air monitoring, authors estimated exposure to air pollutants, including particulate matter of ≤1, ≤2.5, ≤10 μm (PM1, PM2.5, PM10).
- Outcome: lung impairment.
- Funding: Chinese national, provincial funds.
- 70.5% (4751) breastfed.
- For each elevated pollutant, risk for reduced FVC, with breastfeeding vs without, aORs (95% CIs):
- PM1: 2.71 (2.02-3.63) vs 1.20 (0.97-1.48).
- PM2.5: 2.27 (1.79-2.88) vs 1.26 (1.04-1.51).
- PM10: 1.93 (1.58-2.37) vs 1.46 (1.23-1.73).
- Among subset of younger children, risk for reduced FVC, with breastfeeding vs without (aORs):
- PM1: 6.43 (3.97-10.44) vs 1.89 (1.28-2.80).
- PM2.5: 3.83 (2.63-5.58) vs 1.50 (1.12-2.01).
- PM10: 2.61 (1.90-3.57) vs 1.52 (1.19-1.95).
- Information on indoor air pollution not captured.
- Biological mechanisms not elucidated.