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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Predictors of Inflammatory Breast Diseases During Lactation – Results of a Cohort Study

Authors

  • Achim Wöckel,

    1. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
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    • *

      Both authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Anna Beggel,

    1. Institute of Neuropsychoimmunology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    2. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, St. Joseph-Hospital Berlin, Academic Hospital of Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
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    • *

      Both authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Miriam Rücke,

    1. Institute of Neuropsychoimmunology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • Michael Abou-Dakn,

    1. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, St. Joseph-Hospital Berlin, Academic Hospital of Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
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  • Petra Arck

    1. Institute of Neuropsychoimmunology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    2. McMaster University Hamilton, Brain and Body Institute, Hamilton, ON, Canada
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Achim Wöckel, MD, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Prittwitzstraße 43, 89075 Ulm, Germany.
E-mail: achim.woeckel@uniklinik-ulm.de

Abstract

Problem  Inflammatory breast diseases during lactation are major reasons for early weaning.

Method of study  A prospective cohort study was performed to examine the association between stress and inflammatory breast diseases. Psychometric data, cytokine levels in breast milk and blood samples were analysed postpartum (T1). Psychometric data and course of breast feeding were evaluated twelve weeks later (T2). Patients were divided into case- and control-groups (according to the presence of breast diseases).

Results  Mothers of the case group (= 23) were significantly older and showed significantly increased stress levels between T1 and T2 compared with the control group (= 43). Leucocytes in the postpartum blood count were significantly decreased in the case group. There were no significant differences between groups in the concentrations of Th-1- and Th-2-cytokines in breast milk postpartum.

Conclusion  Higher maternal age, postpartum increase in stress perception and low number of leucocytes are associated with a higher incidence of inflammatory breast diseases. Further studies must examine the causality of this effect.

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