Breastfeeding and childhood acute otitis media: A systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • To synthesise the evidence on the association between duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding and the risk of acute otitis media (AOM).Systematic review and meta-analysis following searching of PubMed, CINAHL and EMBASE electronic databases.Twenty-four studies, all from the USA or Europe, met the inclusion criteria. In the pooled analyses, any form of breastfeeding was found to be protective for AOM in the first 2 years of life. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months was associated with the greatest protection (OR 0.57 95% CI 0.44, 0.75), followed by 'more vs less' breastfeeding (OR 0.67; 0.59, 0.76) and 'ever vs never' breastfeeding (OR 0.67; 0.56, 0.80).This systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that breastfeeding protects against AOM until 2 years of age, but protection is greater for exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding of longer duration. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months was associated with around a 43% reduction in ever having AOM in the first 2 years of life. After 2 years of age, there is no evidence that breastfeeding protects against AOM; however, there were few studies and the evidence quality was low.

authors

  • Bowatte, G
  • Tham, R
  • Allen, K
  • Tan, D
  • Lau, M
  • Dai, X
  • Lodge, C

publication date

  • 2015