Breastfeeding may help protect mothers against stroke: Study
Breastfeeding is not only good for babies, there is growing evidence it may also reduce the risk for stroke in post-menopausal women who reported breastfeeding at least one child, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association.

Study Highlights:
• Breastfeeding was associated with a lower risk of stroke in post-menopausal women who reported breastfeeding at least one child.

• The association between breastfeeding and lower risk of stroke was stronger in women who breastfed for longer than six months and for black women.

This is among the first studies to examine breastfeeding and a possible relationship to stroke risk for mothers, as well as how such a relationship might vary by ethnicity.

Researchers analyzed data on 80,191 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative observational study, a large ongoing national study that has tracked the medical events and health habits of postmenopausal women who were recruited between 1993 and 1998.

After adjusting for non-modifiable stroke risk factors (such as age and family history), researchers found stroke risk among women who breastfed their babies was on average:
• 23 percent lower in all women,
• 48 percent lower in black women,
• 32 percent lower in Hispanic women,
• 21 percent lower in white women, and
• 19 percent lower in women who had breastfed for up to six months. A longer reported length of breastfeeding was associated with a greater reduction in risk.

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