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Exclusive Breastfeeding Predicts Higher Hearing-Language Development in Girls of Preschool Age

Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council (CNR), 56124 Pisa, Italy
IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, 56128 Pisa, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2320;
Received: 12 May 2020 / Revised: 28 July 2020 / Accepted: 31 July 2020 / Published: 2 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Infant Feeding)
Cognitive disorders are increasing in prevalence. Nutritional or metabolic stressors during early life, and female sex, are predisposing conditions towards the development of cognitive diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Though there is evidence that breastfeeding may play a beneficial role in children’s neurocognitive development, the literature remains controversial. In this study we aimed at assessing the association between exclusive breastfeeding and children’s cognitive development from six months to five years of age, addressing sex differences. In 80 mother-child pairs from the Pisa birth cohort (PISAC), we measured cognitive development in groups of children of 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 60 months by Griffiths Mental Development Scales, parents’ intelligence quotient (IQ) by Raven’s progressive matrices, and maternal and infants’ anthropometric parameters. We found that exclusive breastfeeding was associated with higher hearing-language development in five years old girls, independent of maternal IQ, age and BMI (body mass index). Exclusive breastfeeding in the first three months of life seemed sufficient to establish this positive relationship. In conclusion, our data indicate that exclusive breastfeeding is a positive predictor of cognitive development in preschool-age girls, paving the way for the implementation of sex-specific cognitive disease risk detection and prevention strategies from early life. Further studies are warranted to explore causality and longer term effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: breastfeeding; cognitive development; maternal obesity breastfeeding; cognitive development; maternal obesity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guzzardi, M.A.; Granziera, F.; Sanguinetti, E.; Ditaranto, F.; Muratori, F.; Iozzo, P. Exclusive Breastfeeding Predicts Higher Hearing-Language Development in Girls of Preschool Age. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2320.

AMA Style

Guzzardi MA, Granziera F, Sanguinetti E, Ditaranto F, Muratori F, Iozzo P. Exclusive Breastfeeding Predicts Higher Hearing-Language Development in Girls of Preschool Age. Nutrients. 2020; 12(8):2320.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guzzardi, Maria A., Federico Granziera, Elena Sanguinetti, Francesca Ditaranto, Filippo Muratori, and Patricia Iozzo. 2020. "Exclusive Breastfeeding Predicts Higher Hearing-Language Development in Girls of Preschool Age" Nutrients 12, no. 8: 2320.

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