12 Feb 2012

Breastfeeding can protect against asthma - study

8:04 am on 12 February 2012

Breastfeeding infants protects children against developing asthma or wheezing until they are at least six years old, according to new research.

Otago University researchers say the study of 1105 New Zealand children over a six-year period is very robust and should end the long-standing debate about whether breastfeeding helps prevent asthma.

Lead researcher Karen Silvers says the results show the longer a child is breastfed the better the protection, and those who were exclusively breast fed had the best protection.

Dr Silvers says if children in the study group were exclusively breast fed their chance of getting asthma was reduced by 50% at two years of age.