Does maternal nutrition status influence the risk of pertussis in infants, Victoria, 2011?


Background: Pertussis (whooping cough) is a life-threatening illness in infants. Despite infant vaccination coverage above 90% in Australia, notifications of pertussis continue to increase. Therefore additional strategies to protect infants against pertussis are needed. Dietary factors and breastfeeding have been associated with the incidence and severity of respiratory disease. The objective of this study was to examine the role of maternal nutrition on risk of pertussis. Methods: We examined the association of dietary factors (dichotomised and continuous) and breastfeeding with pertussis in a case-control study using logistic regression. Mothers of 24 cases notified to the health department during a community outbreak and 47 community controls (their possible exposure to contacts with pertussis was uncertain) were invited to complete a self-report lifestyle questionnaire. Results: In univariate analysis, education was associated with risk of pertussis but breast feeding and household income were not. In mul