Breastfeeding May Protect Against Genetic Tendency Toward Pediatric Asthma Interview with:
Olga Gorlanova
Wissenschaftliche Assistenzärztin
Paediatric Pneumology Research Group
Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Base What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous research has investigated how childhood asthma and early wheeze can develop as the result of a complex interaction between environmental exposures, such as tobacco exposure, older siblings and an individual’s genetic profile. Genes associated with childhood asthma risk are located on chromosome 17, called 17q21. Our study asked the question: could the effect of 17q21 on respiratory symptoms in infants be modified by breastfeeding? What are the main findings?

Response: Our findings demonstrate for the first time that the 17q21 genotype may have a dual effect on respiratory symptoms in the 1st year of life, depending on whether a child is breastfed or not. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Infants who are in possession of the susceptible genotype may be protected by breastfeeding. However, when infants were not breastfed, those infants who carried this genotype exhibited a trend towards an increased risk of having respiratory symptoms in the 1st year of life. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should replicate our findings and investigate if this effect persists into later childhood. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


European Respiratory Society 2016 abstract:

Interaction of 17q21 variants with breastfeeding in relation to respiratory symptoms in infancy

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 8, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD