Is breastfeeding associated with reduced risk of heart disease in mothers?

Last updated: February 20, 2022
The single study in this list that examines this question found that the answer is yes. A single study is often not sufficient to draw a conclusion so we encourage you to refer to this study merely as food for thought.

Chart summary of 1 study examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

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Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following study is a literature review, which surveys and evaluates many studies on this question:

Total studies in list: 1
Sorted by publication year
Breastfeeding Is Associated With a Reduced Maternal Cardiovascular Risk: Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis Involving Data From 8 Studies and 1 192 700 Parous Women
"BackgroundBreastfeeding has been robustly linked to reduced maternal risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes. We herein systematically reviewed the published evidence on the association of breastfeeding with maternal risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes.Methods and ResultsOur systematic search of PubMed and Web of Science of articles published up to April 16, 2021, identified 8 relevant prospective studies involving 1 192 700 parous women (weighted mean age: 51.3 years at study entry, 24.6 years at first birth; weighted mean number of births: 2.3). A total of 982 566 women (82%) reported having ever breastfed (weighted mean lifetime duration of breastfeeding: 15.6 months). During a weighted median follow‐up of 10.3 years, 54 226 CVD, 26 913 coronary heart disease, 30 843 stroke, and 10 766 fatal CVD events were recorded. In a random‐effects meta‐analysis, the pooled multivariable‐adjusted hazard ratios comparing parous women who ever breastfed to those who never breastfed were 0.89 for CVD (95% CI, 0.83–0.95; I2=79.4%), 0.86 for coronary heart disease (95% CI, 0.78–0.95; I2=79.7%), 0.88 for stroke (95% CI, 0.79–0.99; I2=79.6%), and 0.83 for fatal CVD (95% CI, 0.76–0.92; I2=47.7%). The quality of the evidence assessed with the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation tool ranged from very low to moderate, which was mainly driven by high between‐studies heterogeneity. Strengths of associations did not differ by mean age at study entry, median follow‐up duration, mean parity, level of adjustment, study quality, or geographical region. A progressive risk reduction of all CVD outcomes with lifetime durations of breastfeeding from 0 up to 12 months was found, with some uncertainty about shapes of associations for longer durations.ConclusionsBreastfeeding was associated with reduced maternal risk of CVD outcomes."
Lena Tschiderer
2022 Journal of the American Heart Association
Literature Review
High Quality Source