The introduction of solids in relation to asthma and eczema

A Zutavern, E von Mutius, Jessica M Harris, P Mills, S Moffatt, C White, P Cullinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Despite scarce scientific evidence, current feeding guidelines recommend delayed introduction of solids for the prevention of asthma and allergy.

AIMS: To explore whether late introduction of solids is protective against the development of asthma, eczema, and atopy.

METHODS: A total of 642 children were recruited before birth and followed to the age of 5(1/2) years. Main outcome measures were: doctor's diagnosis of eczema ever, atopy according to skin prick test results against inhalant allergens, preschool wheezing, transient wheezing, all defined at age 5-5(1/2) years. Introduction of solids as main exposure measure was assessed retrospectively at age 1 year.

RESULTS: There was no evidence for a protective effect of late introduction of solids for the development of preschool wheezing, transient wheezing, atopy, or eczema. On the contrary, there was a statistically significant increased risk of eczema in relation to late introduction of egg (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4) and milk (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.5). Late introduction of egg was furthermore associated with a non-significant increased risk of preschool wheezing (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 0.92 to 2.4). There was no statistical evidence of feeding practices playing a different role in the development of asthma and eczema after stratification for parental asthma and atopy status.

CONCLUSIONS: Results do not support the recommendations given by present feeding guidelines stating that a delayed introduction of solids is protective against the development of asthma and allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-8
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Age Factors
  • Asthma
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Eczema
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Weaning


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