Lactation and maternal subclinical cardiovascular disease among premenopausal women
The objective of the study was to examine the association between lactation and maternal subclinical cardiovascular disease. The Women and Infants Study of Healthy Hearts enrolled 607 mothers who delivered a singleton between 1997 and 2002. In 2007, participating mothers underwent measurements of carotid intima-media thickness, lumen diameter, adventitial diameter, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used to estimate the associations between lactation and subclinical cardiovascular disease. Compared with mothers who breastfed for 3 or more months after every birth, mothers who never breastfed exhibited a 0.13 mm larger lumen diameter (95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.22) and a 0.12 mm larger adventitial diameter (95% confidence interval, 0.02-0.22) in models adjusting for age, parity, birth outcome, sociodemographic variables, health-related behaviors, family history, gestational weight gain, early adult body mass index, current body mass index, C-reactive protein, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, glucose, and insulin levels. Mothers who do not breastfeed have vascular characteristics associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.