2010, Number 4
Association among prematurity, low birth weight and exclusive breastfeeding with allergic rhinitis in 2 to 7 year-old pediatric patients from Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, Peru
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ABSTRACTBackground. The association among perinatal factors for the development of allergic rhinitis is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the association among prematurity, low birth weight, and exclusive breastfeeding with allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients from the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia (HNCH).
Methods. We carried out a case-control study with a sample size of 366 children (122 cases and 244 controls) (a = 5%; b = 20%). A questionnaire was completed through direct interview with the parents to assess allergic rhinitis symptoms in order to classify the children as cases or controls. Previous medical history such as birth weight, gestational age and exclusive breastfeeding were entered and verified with the clinical chart of the patients as well as with the growth and development chart.
Results. There were 369 children included in the study aged 2 to 7 years. They were seen as outpatients at the Pediatric Service at HNCH between August 2006 and June 2007. Of these children, 156 met the criteria for cases and 213 were identified as controls. An odds ratio (OR) of 0.53 was found (95% CI 0.35-0.80, p = 0.0025) for the association between allergic rhinitis and exclusive breastfeeding. Also, an OR of 0.55 (95% CI 0.27-1.12, p = 0.0658) was found for allergic rhinitis and low birth weight and an odds ratio of 1.20 (95% CI 0.67-2.17, p = 0.5414) was found for allergic rhinitis and prematurity. A stratified analysis was executed to evaluate the relationship between allergic rhinitis and exclusive breastfeeding with a family history of atopy and early environmental tobacco smoke exposure. Mantel-Haenszel statistical test was used for this purpose: OR of 0.52 was found (95% CI, 0.33-0.78, p = 0.0025) for the association between allergic rhinitis and exclusive breastfeeding with family history of atopy. Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio of 0.56 (95% CI 0.36-0.84, p = 0.0064) was found for the association between allergic rhinitis and exclusive breastfeeding with early environmental tobacco smoke exposure.
Conclusions. Our results support a protective effect for allergic rhinitis in children who receive exclusive breastfeeding. We did not find any association between prematurity and low birth weight with the subsequent development of allergic rhinitis. The previously described protective effect is seemingly not altered by family history of atopy or early exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
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