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Keywords:

  • anal fissure;
  • breastfeeding;
  • constipation;
  • cows milk;
  • human milk

Objective:  To examine daily cows milk consumption and duration of breastfeeding in infants and young children with anal fissure and constipation.

Methods:  Two groups of 30 consecutive children aged between 4 months and 3 years were evaluated retrospectively. Group I comprised children with chronic constipation and anal fissure in whom surgical causes were excluded, and group II comprised normal children. The daily consumption of cows milk, duration of breastfeeding and other clinical features of the children were investigated

Results:  The mean daily consumption of cows milk was significantly higher in group I (756 mL, range 200−1500 mL) than group II (253 mL, range 0−1000 mL) (P < 0.001). Group I children were breastfed for a significantly shorter period (5.8 months, range 0−18 months) than group II (10.1 months, range 2−24 months) (P < 0.006). The odds ratios for the two factors − children consuming more than 200 mL of cows milk per day (25 children in group I, 11 children in group II) and breastfeeding for less than 4 months (16 children in group I, 5 children in group II) − were calculated to be 8.6 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.23−0.74, P = 0.0005) and 5.7 (95% CI: 0.37−0.66, P = 0.007), respectively.

Conclusions:  Infants and young children with chronic constipation and anal fissure may consume larger amounts of cows milk than children with a normal bowel habit. Additionally, shorter duration of breastfeeding and early bottle feeding with cows milk may play a role in the development of constipation and anal fissure in infants and young children.