These studies look at the link between breastfeeding and heart disease.
Human milk and infants with congenital heart disease: A summary of current literature supporting the provision of human milk and breastfeeding
This review highlights the role of human milk in supporting the health of infants with congenital heart disease. Researchers found that infants receiving an exclusive human milk diet are at a lower risk for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and will have improved weight gain, and that infants with chylothorax who receive skimmed human milk have higher weight-for-age scores than formula-fed infants. The authors argue that given these benefits, evidence-based lactation education and care must be provided to mothers and families prenatally and continue throughout the infant’s hospitalization. If a mother’s goal is to directly breastfeed, this should be facilitated during the infant’s hospital stay.
Davis, J, & Spatz, D, (2018). Human Milk and Infants With Congenital Heart Disease: A Summary of Current Literature Supporting the Provision of Human Milk and Breastfeeding. Advances in Neonatal Care: Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000582
Benefits of breastfeeding on premature babies’ heart health in adulthood
This study of 926 preterm infants provides the first evidence of a beneficial association between breast milk and cardiac morphology and function in adult life in preterm babies. It supports the promotion of human milk for the care of preterm infants to reduce long-term cardiovascular risk.
Breastmilk and reduced cholesterol in adolescence
This study of 216 participants born preterm found that those who received breastmilk had a lower ration of LDL to HDL cholesterol compared with those who had been given preterm formula.