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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Lactose avoidance shortens symptom duration for young children with acute diarrhoea
  1. Marialena Mouzaki,
  2. Peter Church
  1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Marialena Mouzaki, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 1X8; marialena.mouzaki{at}

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Acute gastroenteritis in young children is a global health problem accounting for 9% of emergency department visits and 4% of hospitalisations in the Western world.1 ,2 Secondary lactase deficiency may contribute to osmotic diarrhoea in the setting of infectious gastroenteritis; however, the scientific community has not yet reached a consensus regarding lactose avoidance in this setting. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the effects on mortality and symptom duration of minimising lactose in young children with acute diarrhoea.


This review included randomised and quasi-randomised controlled studies performed in children over 5 years with acute …

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  • Competing interests None.