UNLABELLED: The aims of the present study were to evaluate the association between breastfeeding and breathing development and to investigate associations between breastfeeding duration and the breathing patterns in children. A cross-sectional study was carried out at the Institute of Integrative Medicine Professor Fernando Figueira, Recife, Brazil, with a random sample of 732 children aged between 6 and 9 years. Breastfeeding and breathing patterns were identified using a questionnaire that was filled out by mothers or guardians, and a clinical examination of the children. Data were analyzed statistically by Pearson's chi-square test at 5 % significance level. The prevalence of mouth breathing was 48 %, whereas 52 % of the children were nasal breathers. Six hundred-forty children were breastfed; 46.2 % of them were mouth breathers and 53.8 % were nasal breathers. Ninety-two children were not breastfed; 59.8 % of them were mouth breathers and 40.2 % were nasal breathers. Breastfeeding for 24 months or more, as well as exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months, was associated with the development of nasal breathing.
CONCLUSIONS: Extended breastfeeding was associated with correct development of the breathing pattern.
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