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J Am Diet Assoc. 1996 Sep;96(9):885-90.

Potential cost savings for Medi-Cal, AFDC, food stamps, and WIC programs associated with increasing breast-feeding among low-income Hmong women in California.

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1
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the potential cost savings for four social service programs if breast-feeding rates increased among Hmong women in California.

DESIGN:

Cost-savings analysis.

SUBJECTS/SETTING:

Hmong women in California. In this population, breast-feeding is currently uncommon, and use of contraceptives is minimal.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Savings were based on estimates of the resulting decrease in infant morbidity, maternal fertility, and formula purchases (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) if women breast-fed each child for at least 6 months. Costs were projected over a 7.5-year period and future values were discounted with annual interest rates of 2% or 4%.

RESULTS:

Substantial savings estimates were associated with breast-feeding for all four programs. The total projected savings over the 7.5-year period ranges from $3,442 to $4,944 (4% discount) to $4,475 to $6,0960 (0% discount) per family enrolled in all four programs. This translates into an estimated yearly savings of between $459 and $659 (4% discount) and $597 and $808 (0% discount) per family.

APPLICATIONS:

Although health care providers generally accept that breast-feeding is the preferred method for feeding infants, many still view the choice as a neutral one; that is, they consider low breast-feeding rates in the United States a cultural choice with no cost to society. This analysis provides evidence that breast-feeding is economically advantageous for individuals and society.

PMID:
8784333
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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