February 11, 2022 6:13:25 pm
A large study in more than 1 million mothers showed women who had breastfed their children had a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, or of death from these diseases later in life, as compared to women who didn’t.
Over an average follow-up period of about 10 years, the researchers found that women who breastfed their children for any length of time had an 11% lower risk of diseases of the heart or blood vessels, a 14% lower risk of heart disease, a 12% lower risk of stroke, and a 17% lower risk of dying from these diseases.
The study was published in an issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association which is dedicated to research the impact of pregnancy on heart health in the mother and child.
“Breastfeeding is known to be associated with a lower risk for death from infectious disease and with fewer respiratory infections in babies, as well as being associated with a reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes in mothers”, said Dr. Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.
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The expert said that the study shows “an additional benefit of breastfeeding, which is a reduced risk of heart disease or stroke, and of dying of heart disease in later life in mothers who breastfed their children, than in mothers who did not.”
Dr Suvarna clarified that although the study has some limitations and the results need to be validated,”it is one more reason to promote breastfeeding. The beneficial effects of breastfeeding need to be effectively communicated to mothers and the society at large.”
“The mechanism of benefit may be due to secretion of hormones during breastfeeding which protect and benefit the heart, weight loss associated with breastfeeding and resetting of the maternal metabolism”, the expert concluded.
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