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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the relationship between breastfeeding and the prevalence of asthma?

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    Dr Gary Sykes


    Dr Gary Sykes is a graduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B, B.S.) from Sydney University. He commenced his initial postgraduate training at … View Profile

    There have been a number of studies over the years looking at the relationship between breastfeeding and the prevalence of asthma. There is no consensus view with some saying there is benefit in breast feeding and that breast feeding does reduce the likelihood of asthma and others and other saying breast feeding does not reduce teh incidence of asthma.

    A good article by Guilbert TW, Wright AL Does breastfeeding impact lung function and asthma risk? Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Apr 15;185(8):801-2. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201202-0239ED is reported at

    To quote from this report “The relation of infant feeding to later pulmonary function continues to be controversial. What is not controversial is that breastfeeding provides many benefits to the infant—developmental, nutritional, and immunological.”

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