Breastfeeding Lowers Infant’s Risk of Developing Bowel Disease Later, Study Reports

Breastfeeding Lowers Infant’s Risk of Developing Bowel Disease Later, Study Reports
People who were breastfed are at lower risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease than those who weren't, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers reported. The team said the protective effects applied to people across the globe. Their work, based on an analysis of previously published studies, supported research suggesting that breastfeeding helps ward off bowel disease. Some studies have contradicted this notion. The Boston researchers reviewed 35 studies involving 15,000 patients that looked at the link between breastfeeding and bowel disease between 1961 and 2016. The team's work, published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeuticswas titled “Systematic review with meta-analysis: breastfeeding and the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.” Only two of the studies followed participants over time. The others involved a case-control approach. This involves comparing rates of disease between people who report they were breastfed with rates of those who said they were not. The research included children and adults with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Half the studies were from Europe, with studies from North America and the Asia-Pacific region making up about a fourth of the total each. Participants included 7,536 people with Crohn’s disease, 7,353 with ulcerative colitis, and 330,222 controls. The Massachusetts General researchers found that being breastfed reduced the risk of developing a bowel disease by 26 percent. Looking at the conditions separa
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