Objectives: Both breast-feeding duration and age at gluten introduction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of celiac disease (CD). We hypothesized that parental CD affects the feeding pattern of the offspring, mediated by parental health awareness increasing adherence to infant feeding guidelines.
Methods: Prospectively collected infant feeding data were obtained through the All Babies in Southeast Sweden study. Information regarding infant feeding was available in 9414 children. Twenty-two mothers had a history of biopsy-verified CD before delivery of a child in the study, and 9392 mothers had no diagnosis of CD before birth and thus constituted the unexposed or control population. Cox regression was used to compare the risk of early weaning and gluten introduction according to parental CD status, and logistic regression to assess whether mothers with CD were more likely to breast-feed their children at gluten introduction.
Results: Some 63% of children were breast-fed for at least 9 months. We found no association between maternal CD and early weaning (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6–1.7), or between paternal CD and early weaning (HR 0.5, 95% CI 0.1–1.9). Sixty percent of children were introduced to gluten in months 5 and 6. Maternal CD was not associated with age at gluten introduction (adjusted HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–1.3). There was no statistically significant association between maternal CD and breast-feeding at the time of gluten introduction (odds ratio 1.4, 95% CI 0.4–4.7).
Conclusions: Feeding patterns do not seem to vary between offspring and mothers with CD and those without.