Objective: To evaluate the association between suboptimal breast-feeding practices and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Methods: A case-control study was conducted in 102 ASD cases and 102 matched healthy controls.
Results: Based on adjusted odds ratios from logistic regression models, ASD was found to be associated with the late initiation of breast-feeding (odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval 1.01-3.1), a non-intake of colostrum (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.03-4.3), prelacteal feeding, and bottle-feeding. The risk of ASD was found to decrease in a dose-response fashion over increasing periods of exclusive breast-feeding (P for trend = 0.04) and continued breast-feeding (P for trend = 0.001).
Conclusion: The study indicates that increased ASD risk is generally associated with suboptimal breast-feeding practices.
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