Breastfeeding cuts down the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Babies

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A recent systematic review and meta-analysis confirmed babies who were breastfed had a lower risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the findings, there was a dose-response association between breastfeeding and ASD with breastfeeding for 12-24 months being associated with the most significant reduction in the risk of ASD. The findings underscore the importance of breastfeeding to decrease the risk of ASD in children.

The nutritional status in newborns, especially the duration of breastfeeding, has a crucial role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder. Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that elucidated the association between ASD and breastfeeding patterns to analyze the dose-response relationship between breastfeeding pattern and ASD.

Seven case-control studies elucidated the association between ever breastfeeding and risk of autism spectrum disorder. Ever breastfeeding was associated with a 58% decrease in ASD. Exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a 76% decrease in the risk of ASD. As per the dose-response meta-analysis, breastfeeding for 6 months was associated with a 54 % reduction in the risk of ASD. The conventional meta-analysis revealed that breastfeeding for 12–24 months was associated with the most significant reduction in the risk of autism spectrum disorder.

Asian J Psychiatr.  Dec 27, 2019 (Published Ahead of Print); doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.101916.