Breast milk cuts heart disease risk

BREASTFED babies could have a reduced risk of heart disease in later life, research showed yesterday, putting more pressure on women not to bottle-feed their children.

The new study found that heart-disease risk factors were reduced in adults who were breastfed as babies. The research is the latest evidence to emerge on the benefits of breast milk over formula feeds. But midwives and campaigners said women who could not or did not want to breastfeed should not be made to feel guilty. In Scotland, a target was set for 50 per cent of all mothers to breastfeed by 2005. Figures earlier this year showed that only 44.2 per cent were breastfeeding - a drop of nearly 1 per cent in a year.

The latest research, presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Orange County, California, involved almost 400 mothers and 1,000 of their children.

The research, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, found that middle-aged adults who were breastfed as infants were 55 per cent more likely to have high levels of "good" cholesterol, known as HDL. High levels of HDL cholesterol help protect against heart disease and stroke

Source - Scotsman

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