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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Effect of breast feeding on ocular morbidity

Adnan Aksoy, Murat Ozdemir, Lokman Aslan, Murat Aslankurt, Ozlem Gul

(Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:24-27

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889879

Background: To evaluate the effect of human milk on ocular morbidity in infants who did not breast feed during the first 6 months of life.
Material and Methods: This retrospective randomized study included 154 subjects who were first or second grade elementary school students, 66–84 month of age. These children were randomly selected from 2080 students during health screenings. All of them were born at term and were normal birth weight. The study was composed of 3 age- and sex-matched groups. Group 1 included 52 subjects who had never been breast fed. Group 2 included 42 subjects who were breast fed and also received additional food (infant formula). Group 3 included 60 subjects who were only breast fed until 6 months old (no formula) except for the first month of life. All subjects underwent a complete ophthalmic examination and any morbidity was recorded. Frequencies of ocular morbidity were compared among the groups by using the chi-squared test.
Results: We found significant refractive errors in 12 (23%) subjects in Group 1 (no breast feeding). There was no significant refractive error in Group 2 (breast feeding and formula) and Group 3 (breast feeding only). The difference among the groups was statistically significant (p=0.014, chi-squared test). Allergic conjunctivitis was found in 5 subjects in Group 1, 3 in Group 2, and 2 in Group 3. There was no significant difference among the groups (p=0.395).
Conclusions: Refractive errors were more frequent in Group 1 (no breast feeding) than in Group 2 (breast feeding and formula) or Group 3 (breast feeding only). There is a need to confirm this finding by performing studies with larger sample sizes.

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