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Breastfeed Med. 2017 Dec;12(10):645-658. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2017.0083. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

An Online Calculator to Estimate the Impact of Changes in Breastfeeding Rates on Population Health and Costs.

Author information

1
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
2
2 Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
3
3 Department of Health Services Administration, D'Youville College , Buffalo, New York.
4
4 Department of Medicine, University of California , Davis, Sacramento, California.
5
5 Department of Operations Business Analytics and Information Systems, University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, Ohio.
6
6 Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, Boston, Massachusetts.
7
7 Department of Neonatology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa , Iowa City, Iowa.
8
8 Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
9
9 Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University , Houston, Texas.
10
10 Jamus, LLC, Lewiston, New York.
11
11 Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance , Cambridge, Massachusetts.
12
12 Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to determine the impact of changes in breastfeeding rates on population health.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We used a Monte Carlo simulation model to estimate the population-level changes in disease burden associated with marginal changes in rates of any breastfeeding at each month from birth to 12 months of life, and in rates of exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months of life. We used these marginal estimates to construct an interactive online calculator (available at www.usbreastfeeding.org/saving-calc ). The Institutional Review Board of the Cambridge Health Alliance exempted the study.

RESULTS:

Using our interactive online calculator, we found that a 5% point increase in breastfeeding rates was associated with statistically significant differences in child infectious morbidity for the U.S. population, including otitis media (101,952 cases, 95% confidence interval [CI] 77,929-131,894 cases) and gastrointestinal infection (236,073 cases, 95% CI 190,643-290,278 cases). Associated medical cost differences were $31,784,763 (95% CI $24,295,235-$41,119,548) for otitis media and $12,588,848 ($10,166,203-$15,479,352) for gastrointestinal infection. The state-level impact of attaining Healthy People 2020 goals varied by population size and current breastfeeding rates.

CONCLUSION:

Modest increases in breastfeeding rates substantially impact healthcare costs in the first year of life.

KEYWORDS:

breastfeeding; breastfeeding impact; breastfeeding policy; cost savings; economic tools

PMID:
28906133
DOI:
10.1089/bfm.2017.0083
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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