Infant feeding and childhood atopy: does early introduction of non-milk fluids matter?
Andreasyan K., Ponsonby A-L., Dwyer T., Dear K., Cochrane J.
Studies on the role of non-milk fluids in the development of child atopic disease are scarce. We had a unique opportunity to investigate prospective association between the introduction of fruit syrup, orange juice, sterilized water, vitamins and honey at 1 month and the development of child atopic disease. The exposure of interest was measured by parental report of non-milk fluids introduction to infants aged 1 month at the Tasmanian Infant Health Survey, 1988-89, Tasmania. Data on the outcomes of interest (atopic sensitization, asthma, eczema and hay fever) were collected during the 1997 Childhood Allergy and Respiratory Health Study when children were 8 yr old. Relative risks were derived from generalized linear model with a log link function and binomial error structure. None of the non-milk fluids appeared to be a significant predictor of atopic sensitization. Only sterilized water was a significant risk factor for asthma (adjusted relative risk = 1.59; 95% confidence intervals: 1.14-2.22), which may be partly because of associated overall better hygienic conditions and decreased exposure to early infections in the household. In summary, we were unable to find evidence for an association between introduction of non-milk fluids in infancy and childhood atopic disease.