Lactation and maternal subclinical cardiovascular disease among premenopausal women

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 05/08/2012

Mothers who do not breastfeed have vascular characteristics associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.


  • The Women and Infants Study of Healthy Hearts enrolled 607 mothers who delivered a singleton between 1997 and 2002.
  • In 2007, participating mothers underwent measurements of carotid intima–media thickness, lumen diameter (LD), adventitial diameter (AD), and carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity.
  • Multivariable linear and logistic regression were used to estimate the associations between lactation and sCVD.


  • Compared with mothers who breastfed for ≥3 months after every birth, mothers who never breastfed exhibited a 0.13mm larger LD (95%CI 0.04,0.22) and a 0.12mm larger AD (95%CI 0.02,0.22) in models adjusting for age, parity, birth outcome, sociodemographic variables, health–related behaviors, family history, gestational weight gain, early adult BMI, current BMI, CRP, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL, glucose and insulin levels.

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