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Breastfeed Med. 2015 Apr;10(3):163-7. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2014.0116. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Breastfeeding and maternal hypertension and diabetes: a population-based cross-sectional study.

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Institute of Chronic Disease, Peking University Shougang Hospital , Beijing, People's Republic of China .



This study aimed to assess the association of breastfeeding and maternal hypertension and diabetes in Beijing, China.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in four urban communities of Beijing, China, with 9,128 parous women 40-81 years of age who had had only one lifetime birth. Each participant completed a detailed survey and accepted blood pressure measurement and blood glucose testing. Moreover, self-reported hypertension and diabetes were confirmed by review of medical records.


After the analysis was adjusted for the potential confounders, including age, body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), working status, educational level, drinking, smoking, family history of hypertension, age of menarche, menopause, oral contraceptive use, age of child-bearing, and postpartum BMI, the odd ratio (OR) of hypertension was 1.18 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.32) for women who did not breastfeed, compared with women who did. In addition, the ORs for >0 to 6 months, >6 to 12 months, and >12 months of breastfeeding were 0.87 (95% CI, 0.76-0.99), 0.83 (95% CI, 0.68-1.00), and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.65-0.97), respectively, compared with women who did not breastfeed. With adjustment for age, WHR, working status, educational level, family history of diabetes, and postpartum BMI, women who did not breastfeed increased the risk of diabetes (OR=1.30; 95% CI, 1.11-1.53) compared with women who did. Moreover, women who breastfed for >0 to 6 months (OR=0.81; 95% CI, 0.67-0.98) and >6 to 12 months (OR=0.46; 95% CI, 0.26-0.84) had a lower risk of diabetes, compared with women who did not breastfeed.


Chinese mothers who did not breastfeed were more likely to develop hypertension and diabetes in later life.

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