A quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Review International is quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

Summer, 2022 | Number 3, Volume 36

Breastfeeding may lower odds of ASD in children

Breastfeeding may offer some protection against autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a new meta-analysis by researchers from Iran. 

Ensiyeh Jenabi and colleagues identified seven epidemiological studies that investigated the risk of ASD in breastfed and nonbreastfed children. In all, the study population included 3,270 individuals. 

The researchers say their meta-analysis showed that children who were not breastfed had 1.81 times the risk of developing ASD compared to children who were breastfed. They note that their findings are consistent with two other meta-analyses suggesting a positive effect of breastfeeding. 

The researchers conclude, “Our findings suggest that the possible association between ASD and not breastfeeding should be added to the list of reasons to provide breastfeeding support.” prenatal ultrasounds to evaluate the probability of a child being born with ASD, allowing for very early treatment.


“Not breastfeeding and risk of autism spectrum disorders among children: a meta-analysis,” Ensiyeh Jenabi, Saeid Bashirian, Amir Mohammad Salehi, and Salman Khazaei, Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics, July 19, 2022 (free online). Address: Salman Khazaei, Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran, [email protected].