Senior Scholars Program


Survey of breast-feeding practices and outcomes in the cystic fibrosis population

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Breast Feeding; Child; Child, Preschool; Cystic Fibrosis; Drug Utilization; Forced Expiratory Volume; Humans; Infant; Infant Formula; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Questionnaires; Severity of Illness Index; Time Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The aim of this study was to survey cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to determine the frequency of breast-feeding and its association with onset and severity of CF symptoms. Three thousand, two hundred questionnaires were sent to 30 accredited CF centers for anonymous completion. Eight hundred and sixty-three questionnaires were returned and scanned into a database. All results were adjusted for age at time of filling out the questionnaire. Age at onset of symptoms, percent forced expired volume in 1 sec (FEV1%) predicted, and intravenous (IV) antibiotic use were analyzed based on breast-feeding history. Approximately 49% of respondents received human breast milk at some time, but only 18% were exclusively breast-fed. Breast-feeding exclusively for greater than 6 months was associated with a decrease in disease severity based on recent intravenous antibiotic use compared to no breast-feeding (P = 0.03). There was no statistically significant change in onset of symptoms in the setting of breast-feeding; however, a trend toward delayed onset was seen in those receiving human milk. Fifty-three percent of those who breast-fed exclusively > or = 6 months had FEV1% values > 90%, compared to 47% of those not breast-fed. This is a suggestive but not statistically significant difference. In conclusion, breast-feeding for > or = 6 months is associated with decreased use of intravenous antibiotics in the 2 years prior to administering the questionnaire. This survey indicates that breast-feeding is not harmful to children with CF, and may be beneficial.

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Citation: Pediatr Pulmonol. 2004 Apr;37(4):362-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


Medical student Eliza Parker participated in this study as part of the Senior Scholars research program.

PubMed ID