Mothers Who Breast-Feed Their Baby Lower Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
If you are a mother and don’t like to breast-feeding your bab then you should adopt doing so for breast-feeding may literally be good for your heart and health. A new study suggests that breast-feeding may lower women’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
For the researchers analyzed information from nearly 300,000 women in China. They found that those who were moms and had breast-fed were about 10 percent less likely to develop heart disease and stroke during the study period, compared to the moms who never breast-fed.
Although the new study cannot prove for certain that breast-feeding caused the women’s lower risk of heart disease and stroke, “these findings suggest that interventions to increase the likelihood and duration of breast-feeding could have persistent benefits to maternal cardiovascular health.”
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Future studies are needed to confirm the findings, and determine whether they apply to women living in other countries, the researchers said. Previous studies have suggested that women who breast-feed experience short-term benefits, such as weight loss and lower cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels. But studies on the long-term benefits of breast-feeding on women’s cardiovascular health have had mixed results.
In the new study, the researchers collected data from 289,573 Chinese women ages 30 to 79 who were asked about their history of childbirth and breast-feeding, as well as their medical history and other lifestyle factors. Nearly all of the women, 99 percent, had given birth, and 97 percent had breast-fed. None of the women had cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.
The women were followed up for eight years, and during this time, about 16,700 developed coronary heart disease (which includes heart attacks ) and nearly 24,000 had a stroke.
The study found that, overall, mothers who breast-fed had a 9 percent lower risk of heart disease and an 8 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to mothers who did not breast-feed. Mothers who breast-fed for two years or more had an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease and 17 percent lower risk of stroke, than those who never breast-fed.
The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect heart disease risk, such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes . Still, the study wasn’t able to take into account some factors like the women’s diet — that could affect their heart disease risk.