Thymus size is associated with breastfeeding and having pets in a sex-specific manner

Rikke P Laursen, Anni Larnkjaer, Christian Ritz, Hanne Frøkiaer, Maren J H Rytter, Christian Mølgaard, Kim F Michaelsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


AIM: The aim was to examine associations between thymus size and anthropometric measurements, sex, age, breastfeeding status, presence of siblings, household pets, and infections and allergies since birth in 8- to 13-month-old healthy Danish infants.

METHODS: Data collected from 256 healthy infants enrolled in the ProbiComp study were used. Thymus size was assessed using sonographic measures, and thymic index (TI) and thymus weight index (TWI) was used as an absolute and a relative volume estimate, respectively.

RESULTS: In terms of TI and TWI, boys had approximately 15% and 5% larger thymus than girls (P < .001 and P < .02, respectively). TWI was larger in girls who were still breastfed than girls who were no longer breastfed (?: 0.16 cm3 /kg; 95% CI: 0.004, 0.29; P = .01), but no difference was observed for boys. Having household pets was associated with a larger TI (P = .02), which seemed to be driven by associations for boys (?: 1.38 cm3 ; 95% CI: 0.02, 2.74). No other factors associated with thymus size were identified.

CONCLUSION: Thymus size was associated with current breastfeeding in girls and with having household pets in boys. Sex-specific associations should be further explored in future studies on factors associated with thymus size.

Sider (fra-til)968-975
Antal sider8
TidsskriftActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Udgave nummer5
Tidlig onlinedato2019
StatusUdgivet - maj 2020

Bibliografisk note

� 2019 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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