Breastfeeding Decreases Infant Mortality

May, 2004, Research Triangle Park, NC Data analyzed by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences suggest that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of death for infants in their first year of life. Looking at infants between 28 days and one year of age, researchers concluded that promoting breastfeeding can potentially prevent up to 720 post-neonatal deaths in the U.S. each year.

Researchers compared CDC records of 1,204 children who died between 28 days and one year of causes other than congenital anomalies or cancer with those of 7,740 children still alive at one year.

Children who were breastfed had 20% lower risk of dying between 28 days and one year than children who weren't breastfed. Longer breastfeeding was associated with lower risk. The effect was the same in both black and white children.

Breastfed infants in the U.S. have lower rates of morbidity, especially from infectious disease, but there are no contemporary U.S. studies of the effect of breastfeeding on all-cause mortality in the first year of life.

Source: Press Release

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Breastfeeding and Infant Fatality Rates