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Volume 52, Number 1, February 2019

The influence of breastfeeding in breast-fed infants with atopic dermatitis 

Hao-Pai Lin, Bor-Luen Chiang, Hsin-Hui Yu, Jyh-Hong Lee, Yu-Tsan Lin, Yao-Hsu Yang, Li-Chieh Wang


Background and purpose: 

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether breastfeeding should be discontinued for exclusively breast-fed infants with atopic dermatitis (AD).




Eighty-seven exclusively breast-fed infants with AD were enrolled in a prospective observational study. The infants were divided into 3 groups: breastfeeding only (BM group), partial breastfeeding and partial partially hydrolyzed whey formula (pHF-W) (Partial group) and pHF-W only (DC group). The extent and severity of AD were evaluated with the Patient-Oriented SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (PO-SCORAD) index at enrollment and 3 and 6 months later.



There were no significant differences in parental atopy history, PO-SCORAD scores, and medication scores at baseline. At month 3 and 6, the PO-SCORAD scores were significantly decreased in all groups. PO-SCORAD scores at month 3 and 6 and at the last time point when topical corticosteroids were given were significantly different among the groups. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis showed that baseline PO-SCORAD scores and stopping breastfeeding were significantly associated with month 3 PO-SCORAD scores (p < 0.001), after adjusting for sex, age, baseline medication scores, partial breastfeeding and parental atopy history. In addition to baseline PO-SCORAD scores and stopping breastfeeding, partial breastfeeding was significantly associated with month 6 PO-SCORAD scores. Long-term follow-up showed that only stopping breastfeeding was significantly associated with the last time point when topical corticosteroids were given (p = 0.014). 



For exclusively breast-fed infants with AD, discontinuing breastfeeding and shifting to pHF-W might help to improve symptoms and shorten the duration of AD regardless of sex, age and parental atopy history.