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Breast-feeding could be an important factor in reducing diarrheal mortality, as Dr Cunningham pointed out. Information on breast-feeding is unavailable on death certificates and birth certificates, which were the two main sources of data in our study.The beneficial effects of breast-feeding, as well as other hypotheses, such as appropriate rehydration therapy, could be examined if we were to begin to report diarrheal deaths in the southern states. We could then investigate conditions associated with each diarrheal death and compare in a timely fashion potential risk factors among children who die of diarrhea with those who survive using a case-control approach. We are now seeking interested investigators with whom to collaborate in such a study.
Ho M, Glass RI. Diarrheal Deaths in American Children-Reply. JAMA. 1989;261(18):2633. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420180057013