Type of milk feeding during acute diarrhoea and the risk of persistent diarrhoea: a case control study

S. Sazawal, MK Bhan, N. Bhandari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The role of feeding breast milk, unmodified bovine milk or adapted infant formula during acute diarrhoea in protecting against or causing persistence of the episodes was investigated in a population‐based case control study in an urban area of north India. After adjustment for confounding variables, exclusive breast‐feeding was associated with an odds ratio of 0.06 (95% CI 0.002‐2.1), a 16.5 times lower odds in favour of developing persistence of an episode. Infants fed unmodified bovine milk in addition to breast milk had an odds of 2.5 times (95% CI 1.0‐9.9) in favour of developing persistence of acute diarrhoea (p= 0.04). In infants receiving unmodified bovine milk and no breast milk, this odds ratio was 11.1 (95% CI 1.0‐228.8) (p= 0.05). This study indicates that promoting exclusive breastfeeding may reduce the persistence of diarrhoea over and above its effect in decreasing the incidence of acute diarrhoea. In urban areas of the developing countries where working mothers often use milk supplementation beyond the age of three months, our findings suggest that use of adapted spray dried formula may be safer than unmodified bovine milk with respect to the risk of developing persistent diarrhoea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalActa Pædiatrica
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Diarrhoea
  • diarrhoea complications
  • diarrhoea infantile
  • diarrhoea management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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