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Exclusive breastfeeding and disease evolution in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis

Andes Pediatr. 2023 Jan;94(1):23-28. doi: 10.32641/andespediatr.v94i1.3834.


Bronchiolitis is the main reason for hospitalization in infancy. Breastfeeding is a protective factor aga inst infections, however, although there is evidence that breastfeeding could prevent hospitalizations due to bronchiolitis, its effect in patients already hospitalized because of this disease is less clear.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if there are differences in the evolution of patients hospitalized due to bronchiolitis fed with exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) vs. breast milk substitutes (BMS).

PATIENTS AND METHOD: Prospec tive cohort study. Children hospitalized due to bronchiolitis aged from 1 to 6 months were included. Evolution was compared with respect to days of hospitalization, days of oxygen therapy, requirement of high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC), presence of associated pneumonia, transfer to intensive care, and death.

RESULTS: During the study period, 131 infants hospitalized due to bronchiolitis met the selection criteria, 54 were fed with EBF, 29 with BMS, and 48 received mixed feeding. The EBF group required significantly fewer days of oxygen therapy (5.1 ± 2.4 vs. 6.6 ± 3.5; p < 0.02) and hospitalization (7.0 ± 2.4 vs. 8.4 ± 3.6; p < 0.04) than the BMS group. Although males in the BMS group required on average more days of hospitalization and oxygen therapy, this difference was not statistically significant. No deaths were recorded in the groups studied.

CONCLUSION: Patients fed with EBF required fewer days of oxygen therapy and hospitalization than those who received BMS.

PMID:37906867 | DOI:10.32641/andespediatr.v94i1.3834

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