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Breastfeeding May Reduce Maternal Cardiovascular Risk

Among parous women, risks for CVD, coronary heart disease, stroke, fatal CVD reduced for those who ever, versus those who never, breastfed

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among parous women, those who breastfeed may have a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a review published online Jan. 11 in Journal of the American Heart Association.

Lena Tschiderer, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the association between breastfeeding and maternal risk for CVD outcomes. Eight prospective studies including 1,192,700 parous women were reviewed. Eighty-two percent of the women reported having ever breastfed (weighted mean lifetime duration of breastfeeding, 15.6 months).

The researchers identified 54,226 CVD, 26,913 coronary heart disease, 30,843 stroke, and 10,766 fatal CVD events during a weighted median follow-up of 10.3 years. Comparing parous women who ever versus those who never breastfed, the pooled multivariable adjusted hazard ratios were 0.89, 0.86, 0.88, and 0.83 for CVD, coronary heart disease, stroke, and fatal CVD, respectively. There was a progressive risk reduction observed for all CVD outcomes with lifetime durations of breastfeeding from 0 to 12 months; some uncertainty was seen regarding shapes of associations for longer durations.

“It’s important for women to be aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for their babies’ health and also their own personal health,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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