September 1978

Jaundice and Breast-Feeding Among Alaskan Eskimo Newborns

Author Affiliations

From the Public Health Service Alaska Native Hospital, Bethel (Dr Fisher and Ms Curda), and the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Dr Cohen and Ms McNamara). Dr Fisher is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Izaac Walton Killam Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(9):859-861. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120340035005

• The course, incidence, and severity of neonatal jaundice was studied in 95 Alaskan Eskimo infants. Breast-fed infants had higher bilirubin concentrations than bottle-fed babies. Both groups experienced high bilirubin levels, similar to those previously reported in Navajo and Oriental infants but greater than those observed in whites and blacks. A marked capacity to inhibit hepatic glucuronyl transferase was observed in breast-milk specimens but only partly accounted for the bilirubin differences between breast-fed and bottle-fed Eskimo infants. These data suggest that in some racial groups predisposed to neonatal jaundice, feeding practices significantly alter the course and severity of hyperbilirubinemia.

(Am J Dis Child 114:859-861, 1978)