News from ISGlobal
A study led by ISGlobal researchers confirms that longer breastfeeding duration improves cognitive function and suggests that, in addition, it may protect from the development of autistic traits. The prospective study, that has followed more than 1,300 children from the INMA cohort study, has been published in the journal Pediatric Research.
In this study, the authors examined the association between the duration (and intensity) of breastfeeding and cognitive function, symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism traits in 1,346 children from the INMA Cohort, at four years of age. After adjusting for several confounding factors, the authors show that longer duration of feeding (regardless of intensity) is associated with a small but significant improvement in cognitive development. In addition, they observed an independent reduction in autistic traits, while the reduction in ADHD symptoms did not reach statistical significance.
Importantly, the authors underline that these results should not be interpreted as an indication that breastfeeding protects from autism, since the association with clinical ASD was not studied.
Boucher O, Julvez J, Guxens M, Arranz E, Ibarluzea J, Sánchez de Miguel M, Fernández-Somoano A, Tardon A, Rebagliato M, Garcia-Esteban R, O'Connor G, Ballester F, Sunyer J. Association between breastfeeding duration and cognitive development, autistic traits and ADHD symptoms: a multicenter study in Spain. Pediatr Res. 2016 Nov 15.