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Breast Feeding increased risk of low bone density by 24 percent – Sept 2015

Breast Feeding Is Associated with Postmenopausal Bone Loss: Findings from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Korean J Fam Med. 2015 Sep;36(5):216-20. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.5.216. Epub 2015 Sep 18.
Kim HJ1, Kwon H2, Oh SW2, Lee CM2, Joh HK3, Kim Y1, Um YJ1, Ahn SH1.
1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
3Health Service Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a common disease which can cause various morbidity and economic burden. Lactation is known to cause a decline in bone mineral density (BMD), but there are controversies on whether decreased BMD is fully recovered after lactation and whether lactation duration has an influence on postmenopausal BMD. This study was conducted to see whether breastfeeding is associated with postmenopausal bone loss using a highly representative sample of Korean population.

Retrospective cross sectional study was done using data collected from Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V. The study outcome was BMD measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and divided into 2 groups: normal or low BMD (T score<-1), and breastfeeding duration was categorized into 4 groups (never, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tertile). Logistic regression analysis was done to examine the association between lactation duration and BMD.

Among 1,694 postmenopausal women (mean age, 63.5±9.1), 85.71% were in low BMD group. Compared to never breastfeeding group, postmenopausal women with longer than 79 months of breastfeeding duration are more likely to have low BMD (adjusted risk ratio ARR=1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.17 to 1.32). As the duration of breastfeeding increases, ARR and risk difference for low BMD also increases (P for trend=0.008).

The study results showed that total breastfeeding duration was associated with postmenopausal low BMD. All women planning on breastfeeding should be aware of its risks and should take adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D before, during, and after breastfeeding.

PMID: 26435811

See also VitaminDWiki

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