Breastfeeding may reduce a mother’s heart attack and stroke risk

Jun 21, 2017 5:00 PM

A new article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association investigates breastfeeding patterns and the risk of maternal cardiovascular disease.

The work is based on the CKB prospective cohort study including 300,000 adult women in China.

Previous studies have suggested that mothers derive short-term metabolic health benefits from breastfeeding, such as a lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels and weight loss after pregnancy. However, the long-term effects of breastfeeding on risk of developing cardiovascular disease in mothers are unclear. A new study in China found that women who ever breastfed their babies had significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease such as heart disease or stroke, and the longer they breastfed, the greater effects they had.

Researchers observed that

  • Nearly all gave birth and ninety-seven percent of the women breastfed each of their babies for an average of 12 months.   
  • Compared to women who had never breastfed, mothers who ever breastfed their babies had a 9 percent lower risk of heart disease and an 8 percent lower risk of stroke.
  • Among mothers who breastfed each of their babies for two years or more, heart disease risk was 18 percent lower and stroke risk was 17 percent lower than among mothers who had never breastfed.
  • Each additional 6 months of breastfeeding per baby was associated with a 4 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 3 percent lower risk of stroke.

To access the article click here.