Among children with rhinitis symptoms, a new study shows that breastfeeding did not appear to have an effect on immunoglobulin E sensitization to environmental allergens.

“We found no significant difference in having a positive skin prick test in kids who were ‘ever breastfed’ versus being formula fed,” Quindelyn Cook, MD, a resident in the department of pediatrics at University of Chicago Medical Center, told “The groups also had similar rates of asthma, eczema, and food allergy.”

Cook and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of new patient referrals (n =194) of children aged 4 to 18 years at a pediatric allergy clinic at an academic medical center from 2009 to 2013. The researchers assessed the association of breastfeeding and immunoglobulin E sensitization to environmental allergens in patients with symptoms of rhinitis.

Infant feeding history was collected from new patient questionnaires. Positive skin-prick tests to environmental allergens served as the primary outcome.

Secondary outcomes included asthma, atopic dermatitis, and food allergy.

Sixty parents reported feeding their child formula and 134 reported breastfeeding their child at least once.

Researchers observed no statistically significant difference between groups with regard to positive skin prick tests (P = .137), asthma (P = .594), atopic dermatitis (P = .39) or and food allergy (P = .396).

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