Research on Heart Disease

Home > Maternal Health Research > Research on Heart Disease

The studies below explore the impact that breastfeeding can have on maternal cardiovascular health.

Breastfeeding and cardiovascular disease hospitalization and mortality in parous women: evidence from a large Australian cohort study

This study examined the longitudinal association between breastfeeding and maternal cardiovascular disease (CVD) hospitalization and mortality in a large Australian cohort (100,864 parous women aged ≥45). Analysis was restricted to women without self‐reported medically diagnosed CVD at baseline or without past CVD hospitalization 6 years before study entry. Researchers found that ever breastfeeding was associated with lower risk of CVD hospitalization and mortality compared with never breastfeeding, and breastfeeding ≤12 months/child was significantly associated with lower risk of CVD hospitalization.

Nguyen, B, Gale, J, Nassar, N, et al (2019). Breastfeeding and cardiovascular disease hospitalization and mortality in parous women: evidence from a large Australian cohort study. Journal of the American Heart Association, doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.011056

Breastfeeding and reduced maternal risk of diabetes and heart disease

A study of 139,681 women found that women who reported a lifetime history of more than 12 months of lactation were 10-15% less likely to have hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease than those who had not breastfed.

Schwarz EB Ray RM, Steube AM et al. Duration of lactation and risk factors for maternal cardiovascular disease. Obstet Gynecol 2009 May; 113:974