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Open AccessArticle

Statistical Approaches in the Studies Assessing Associations between Human Milk Immune Composition and Allergic Diseases: A Scoping Review

1
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
2
Department of Paediatrics and Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Institute of Child’s Health, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), 123337 Moscow, Russia
3
Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
4
N. Polyakov Institute of Geotechnical Mechanics on the NAS of Ukraine, 49005 Dnipro, Ukraine
5
Library Section for Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU—Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7030 Trondheim, Norway
6
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P4, Canada
7
Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology & Center for Food Allergy, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, NY 14642, USA
8
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Paediatrics, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
9
School of Molecular Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
10
inVIVO Planetary Health, Group of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), West New York, NJ 10704, USA
11
National Institute for Health Research, Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for NW London, London SW10 9NH, UK
12
Department of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7030 Trondheim, Norway
13
Clinic of Laboratory Medicine, St Olavs Hospital, 7030 Trondheim, Norway
14
Solov’ev Research and Clinical Center for Neuropsychiatry, 115419 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102416
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 1 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Diet, and Allergic Diseases)
A growing number of studies are focusing on the associations between human milk (HM) immunological composition and allergic diseases. This scoping review aims to identify statistical methods applied in the field and highlight pitfalls and unmet needs. A comprehensive literature search in MEDLINE and Embase retrieved 13,607 unique records. Following title/abstract screening, 29 studies met the selection criteria and were included in this review. We found that definitions of colostrum and mature milk varied across the studies. A total of 17 out of 29 (59%) studies collected samples longitudinally, but only 12% of these used serial (longitudinal) analyses. Multivariable analysis was used in 45% of the studies, but statistical approaches to modelling varied largely across the studies. Types of variables included as potential confounding factors differed considerably between models. Discrimination analysis was absent from all studies and only a single study reported classification measures. Outcomes of this scoping review highlight lack of standardization, both in data collection and handling, which remains one of the main challenges in the field. Improved standardization could be obtained by a consensus group of researchers and clinicians that could recommend appropriate methods to be applied in future prospective studies, as well as already existing datasets. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast milk; colostrum; immune composition; human milk; immune markers; allergy; longitudinal algorithms; methodology; serial analysis; statistical analysis breast milk; colostrum; immune composition; human milk; immune markers; allergy; longitudinal algorithms; methodology; serial analysis; statistical analysis
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Blyuss, O.; Cheung, K.Y.; Chen, J.; Parr, C.; Petrou, L.; Komarova, A.; Kokina, M.; Luzan, P.; Pasko, E.; Eremeeva, A.; Peshko, D.; Eliseev, V.I.; Pedersen, S.A.; Azad, M.B.; Jarvinen, K.M.; Peroni, D.G.; Verhasselt, V.; Boyle, R.J.; Warner, J.O.; Simpson, M.R.; Munblit, D. Statistical Approaches in the Studies Assessing Associations between Human Milk Immune Composition and Allergic Diseases: A Scoping Review. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2416.

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