Effect of suboptimal breast-feeding on occurrence of autism: A case-control study

Yahya M. Al-Farsi*, Marwan M. Al-Sharbati, Mostafa I. Waly, Omar A. Al-Farsi, Mohammed A. Al-Shafaee, Maha M. Al-Khaduri, Malav S. Trivedi, Richard C. Deth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the association between suboptimal breast-feeding practices and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Methods: A case-control study was conducted in 102 ASD cases and 102 matched healthy controls. Results: Based on adjusted odds ratios from logistic regression models, ASD was found to be associated with the late initiation of breast-feeding (odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval 1.01-3.1), a non-intake of colostrum (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.03-4.3), prelacteal feeding, and bottle-feeding. The risk of ASD was found to decrease in a dose-response fashion over increasing periods of exclusive breast-feeding (P for trend = 0.04) and continued breast-feeding (P for trend = 0.001). Conclusion: The study indicates that increased ASD risk is generally associated with suboptimal breast-feeding practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e27-e32
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Oman
  • Suboptimal breast-feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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