Breastfeeding and infant illness in low-income, minority women: A prospective cohort study of the dose-response relationship

Katherine Freeman, Karen A. Bonuck, Michelle Trombley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The authors' objective was to determine whether cumulative weekly breastfeeding duration by 13 weeks was associated with infant otitis media, respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, and total illness visits up to 12 months. The authors performed a secondary analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial of low-income, primarily Hispanic and Black women enrolled from 2 medical center affiliated clinics. "Breastfeeding sensitive" (BFS) outpatient and emergency room (ER) visit data for the above illnesses were obtained for 255 mother/ infant dyads. Outcome measures were unadjusted and adjusted rates of outpatient and ER visits with sick and BFS diagnoses. The authors found no significant associations between breastfeeding intensity and infant visits for otitis media, respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, or total illness visits. In this low-income, multiethnic sample, breastfeeding intensity was not associated with infant health service use, in contrast to other evidence-based reports. Low exclusive breastfeeding rates and lack of coverage for health visits may be reasons for this finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Benefits
  • Infant health
  • Infant morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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