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Does increased duration of exclusive breastfeeding protect against Helicobacter pylori infection? The Newcastle thousand families cohort study at age 49-51 years

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark PearceORCiD, Dr Julian Thomas, Dr David Campbell, Professor Louise Parker


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Objective: Helicobacter pylori acquired in childhood is an important risk factor for gastric carcinoma. Once colonization is established, infection may be carried for life. This study used prospectively recorded, detailed information on infant feeding and investigated the potential link between duration of exclusive breastfeeding in infancy and seropositivity at age 50 years, as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Methods: H. pylori seropositivity at age 50 years was investigated among 407 individuals born in Newcastle in May and June 1947 and related to the duration of exclusive breastfeeding after adjusting for measures of socioeconomic status and adverse housing conditions at birth. Results: Duration of exclusive breastfeeding in infancy was significantly associated with H. pylori seropositivity (odds ratio per 30 days, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 0.98). The significant protective trend was only seen among men (odds ratio per 30 days, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.65 to 0.95), with no significant effect seen among women. Conclusion: Increased duration of exclusive breastfeeding in infancy may have a long-term protective effect against chronic H. pylori infection and hence the risk of gastric carcinoma. Although further research is required, particularly as to why a significant effect was only seen among men, the results provide additional support for the concept that breastfeeding may have long-term influences on health and that human milk is the ideal complete first diet for human infants. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pearce MS, Thomas J, Campbell DI, Parker L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Year: 2005

Volume: 41

Issue: 5

Pages: 617-620

Print publication date: 01/11/2005

ISSN (print): 0277-2116

ISSN (electronic): 1536-4801

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/01.mpg.0000179857.76592.05

PubMed id: 16254519


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