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Introduction of fish and other foods during infancy and risk of asthma in the All Babies In Southeast Sweden cohort study

Journal article
Authors Sofia Klingberg
H. K. Brekke
J. Ludvigsson
Published in European Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 178
Issue 3
Pages 395-402
ISSN 0340-6199
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Public Health Epidemiology Unit
Pages 395-402
Language en
Keywords Introduction of complementary foods, Asthma, Fish, Infant formula, Breastfeeding, Infancy, Cohort, complementary foods, childhood asthma, consumption, life, experience, diseases, eczema, abis
Subject categories Nutrition and Dietetics, Pediatrics


The etiology of asthma includes lifestyle factors. Breastfeeding and introduction of complementary foods have been suggested to affect asthma risk, but the scientific foundation is not solid. Children from the birth cohort All Babies In Southeast Sweden study were included (n=9727). Breastfeeding duration and timing of introduction of infant formula and food were collected prospectively during the first year. Through linkage to the Swedish Patient Register, 948 children were identified with any asthma until age 15-17years, of which 450 cases were atopic. Breastfeeding duration was not associated to risk of asthma. Introduction of infant formula earlier than at 14weeks of age was associated with higher risk of non-atopic asthma. Introduction of fish before 43weeks of age, as compared to later, was associated with a lower risk of asthma, irrespective of atopic classification. Reverse causation was accounted for but did not explain the results.Conclusion: Introduction of infant formula and timing of introduction of fish seem to impact the long-term risk of doctor-diagnosed asthma. Emphasis on the growing body of evidence that early introduction of allergens offers protection against atopic disease should be considered in future recommendations.

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