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


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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    • "Osteoporosis, a serious skeletal disease commonly observed among the elderly, is associated with substantial morbidity and socio-economic burden [1, 2]. In the United States alone, more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass []. "
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