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Osteoporos Int. 2017 Oct;28(10):2823-2830. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-4106-0. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Breastfeeding as the sole source of milk for 6 months and adolescent bone mineral density.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0927, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0927, USA. esblanco@ucsd.edu.
2
Public Health Nutrition Unit, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Avenida El Líbano 5524, Macul, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
3
Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5406, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0927, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0927, USA.

Abstract

Little is known regarding the relationship between early life factors and bone mineral density (BMD). We found a positive association between breastfeeding for at least 6 months, without formula supplementation, and whole body adolescent BMD z-score.

INTRODUCTION:

The aim of the study is to assess the role of breastfeeding BF on adolescent bone mineral density (BMD) in a cohort prospectively followed since infancy.

METHODS:

We studied 679 participants from an infancy iron deficiency anemia preventive trial in Santiago, Chile, followed to adolescence. Breast and bottle feeding were ascertained weekly from 4 to 12 months. At 16 years, whole body BMD was assessed by DEXA. Using linear regression, we evaluated associations between BF duration and BF as the sole source of milk and adolescent BMD z-score, adjusting for possible infancy, adolescent, and background confounders.

RESULTS:

Mean birth weight and length were 3.5 (0.3) kg and 50.7 (1.6) cm. For at least 6 months, BF was the sole source of milk for 26.3% and with supplementation for 36.7%. For 37%, BF was provided for less than 6 months. Mean 16-year BMD z-score was 0.25 (1.0). Covariates included male sex, birth length, and gestational age. BF as the sole source of milk ≥6 months, compared to BF < 6 months, was associated with higher adolescent BMD z-score adjusting for covariates (β = 0.29, p < 0.05). Mixed BF was not significantly related to adolescent BMD z-score (β = 0.06, p = 0.47). For every 30 days of BF as the sole source of milk, adolescent BMD z-score increased by 0.03 (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

BF without formula supplementation for at least 6 months was associated with higher adolescent BMD z-score and a suggestive trend in the same direction for BMD suggests that exclusivity and duration of BF may play a role in adolescent bone health.

KEYWORDS:

Bone health; Developmental origins of disease; Lactation; Osteoporosis

PMID:
28589419
PMCID:
PMC5840801
DOI:
10.1007/s00198-017-4106-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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