Lactation and maternal subclinical cardiovascular disease among premenopausal women

Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 07/2012; 207(1):46.e1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.04.030
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Breastfeeding is associated with improved maternal and child health (Ip et al., 2007; Ram et al., 2008; Stuebe et al., 2009; Schwarz et al., 2010a Schwarz et al., , 2010b Stuebe et al., 2011; McClure et al., 2012 ). Supporting breastfeeding is an effective strategy for reducing health-care costs and disease burden (Jones et al., 2003; Bartick and Reinhold, 2010). "
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