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Breastfeeding and adolescent blood pressure: evidence from Hong Kong's "Children of 1997" Birth Cohort.

Authors
  • Kwok, Man Ki
  • Leung, Gabriel M
  • Schooling, C Mary
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Epidemiology
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2013
Volume
178
Issue
6
Pages
928–936
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwt076
PMID: 23857775
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Observationally, breastfeeding is associated with lower blood pressure in Western developed settings, whereas little association exists in developing settings. However, postnatal characteristics (e.g., breast milk substitutes, infection rates, underweight, and pubertal timing) differ between these settings. We examined the association of breastfeeding with blood pressure at ∼13 years, using multivariable linear regression, in 5,247 term births in 1997 from a population-representative Hong Kong Chinese birth cohort where socioeconomic patterning of breastfeeding differs from that of Western and developing settings but standard of living, social infrastructure, and postnatal characteristics are similar to those of Western settings. Higher education is associated with short-term breastfeeding but recent migration with longer-term breastfeeding. Compared with never breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for ≥3 months was not associated with blood pressure (systolic mean difference = 0.82 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.46, 2.11 and diastolic mean difference = 0.49 mm Hg, 95% CI: -0.22, 1.21), nor was partial breastfeeding for any length of time or exclusive breastfeeding for <3 months (systolic mean difference = 0.01 mm Hg, 95% CI: -0.64, 0.66 and diastolic mean difference = 0.16 mm Hg, 95% CI: -0.20, 0.52), adjusted for socioeconomic position and infant characteristics. Lack of association in a non-Western developed setting further suggests that observations concerning breastfeeding and blood pressure vary with setting, thereby casting doubt on causality.

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