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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 128-138

The relation between pattern of feeding and behavior & mental health disorders among children

Department of Pediatric and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Pediatrics (MSc) Enas A.M Abdurrahman
Department of Pediatric, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al Azhar University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_7_21

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Introduction The benefits of breastfeeding are innumerable, such as a reduction in the risk of acute otitis media, gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma (young children), obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, additionally may reduce the risk of psychological and behavioral disorders among children. Aim To evaluate the effect of breastfeeding on behavioral and mental health disorders of school-age children. Patients and methods This case–control comparative study was carried out on a group of children aged from 6 to 12 years, who were divided into two groups: the patient group included 50 children who were diagnosed with behavioral and mental health disorders according to DSM 5 criteria of diagnosis and were recruited from the outpatient psychiatry clinic of Al-Zahraa Hospital University during the period from March 2020 to September 2020 and a control group with apparently healthy children with no history of psychological manifestations matched in number, age, and sex with the patient group. Result The mean age was 8.4±2.2 years. There were 15 (30.0%) female and 35 (70.0%) male patients, with the highest percentage having attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) (72.0%), followed by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (24.0%), learning disorder (10.0%), and conduct disorder (2.0%). The majority of the cases (29) were mixed fed (58.0%), 11 (22.0%) were artificially fed, and 10 (20.0%) were breastfed. There was a highly statistically significant difference between artificial (bottle) feeding and mixed feeding regarding behavioral disease as ADHD and OCD were highly significant, with P value more than 0.001. Moreover, there was a highly statistically significant difference between the duration of breastfeeding less than or equal to 6 months and ADHD and OCD. Conclusions Breastfeeding has been demonstrated that is inversely associated to behavioral and mental health disorders as increase the duration of breastfeeding associated with decrease the incidence of psychological and behavioral disorders.

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