Breastfeeding and cardiovascular mortality: the Boyd Orr cohort and a systematic review with meta-analysis

Martin, RM; Smith, GD; Mangtani, P; Tilling, K; Frankel, S; Gunnell, D; (2004) Breastfeeding and cardiovascular mortality: the Boyd Orr cohort and a systematic review with meta-analysis. European heart journal, 25 (9). p. 778. ISSN 0195-668X DOI:

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Aims To investigate the association of breastfeeding with all- cause, cardiovascular and ischaemic heart disease mortality. Methods and results A long-term follow-up of 4999 children originally surveyed from 1937 to 1939 was undertaken (Boyd Orr cohort). Four thousand three hundred and seventy-nine subjects (88%) were traced in adulthood and 3555 (71%) had complete data on all covariates. The results were combined with a meta- analysis of the published Literature. In the Boyd Orr study, there was little evidence that breastfeeding was associated with all-cause (hazard ratio: 1.04 [95% Cl: 0.90-1.20]), cardiovascular (1.04 [0.83-1.30]), or ischaemic heart disease (1.02 [0.77-1.36]) mortality, compared with bottle-feeding. Meta-analyses of observational studies showed little evidence of an association of breastfeeding with all-cause (pooled rate ratio: 1.01 [95% Cl: 0.91-1.13]) or cardiovascular (1.06 [0.94- 1.20]) mortality. There was a moderate-to-high degree of between-study heterogeneity for the association between breastfeeding and ischaemic heart disease mortality (11 value- indicating the degree of between-study variation attributable to heterogeneity-66%), and estimates were consistent with both an important beneficial or adverse effect of breastfeeding. Conclusion There is little consistent evidence that breastfeeding influences subsequent all-cause or cardiovascular disease mortality. Results from other well-designed cohorts may clarify residual uncertainty. (C) 2004 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: breastfeeding, infant nutrition, cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, systematic review, Blood-pressure, disease, diet, cholesterol, infants, growth, death
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
PubMed ID: 15120889
Web of Science ID: 221586800014


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