Article

The effect of breast-feeding duration on bone mineral density in postmenopausal Turkish women: a population-based study

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Clinic, Düzce Medical Faculty, Düzce, Turkey.
Archives of medical science : AMS 06/2011; 7(3):486-92. DOI: 10.5114/aoms.2011.23416
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the present study, we investigated the effects of breast-feeding time on bone mineral density (BMD) later in life.
The current study was based on a retrospective analysis of 586 postmenopausal women with a mean age of 60.8 years, who were screened for osteoporosis by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).They were classified into 4 groups with respect to the duration of their breast-feeding as never (group 1), 1-24 months (group 2), 25-60 months (group 3), or > 60 months (group 4). Bone mineral density results for the femur neck and lumbar spine were classified into 3 groups according to WHO criteria as normal (T score > -1.0 SD), osteopenia (T score -1.0 to -2.5 SD), and osteoporosis (T score < -2.5 SD). Patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis (T score < -1.0 SD) were considered as having low bone mass (LBM).
We found a correlation between duration of lactation and femur BMD or spine BMD in the study population (r = 0.116, p < 0.005; r = -0.151, p = 0.001, respectively). Significant differences were found between femur BMD and spine BMD of groups in one-way ANOVA analysis (p = 0.025, p = 0.005, respectively). Additionally, when compared with the other three groups, group 4 was older and had longer duration of menopause (p < 0.01). In logistic regression analysis, age and body mass index were found as independent risk factors of LBM [odds ratio: 1.084 (95% CI 1.031-1.141); odds ratio: 0.896 (95% CI 0.859-0.935)], while duration of lactation was not found as an independent predictor of LBM.
In this study, we have found that changes of bone metabolism during lactation had no effect on postmenopausal BMD measured by DXA. Consequently, it can be suggested that long breast-feeding duration is not a risk factor for low bone mass later in life.

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    • "A number of retrospective cohort and ecological studies (none in Spain), like this one, which examine years later whether recalled months of lactation affect BMD at the time of assessment, have been done in premenopausal women, while others have been done in postmenopausal women [2, 17]. The conclusion from these studies is that a history of lactation, or months of recalled lactation, confers a neutral or beneficial effect on BMD, fractures, or diagnosis of osteoporosis. "
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