There are a host of health benefits that breastfeeding brings to a baby, but a new study suggests it may also lower a mom’s stroke risk later in life.
The research found that women who breastfeed have a 23% lower risk of stroke after menopause. The link was even stronger among black women, who had a 48% lower risk of postmenopausal stroke.
The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study also found that the longer women breastfed, the lower their stroke risk.
Ways to prevent stroke
“Breastfeeding is one of many factors that could help protect against stroke,” said study author Lisette Jacobson. She’s an assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death among US women aged 65 and older, the researchers said. It’s the third leading cause of death among older Hispanic and black women in the United States.
Known ways to prevent stroke include eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, not smoking, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, and controlling chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new study looked at more than 80 000 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative observational study. Their average age was nearly 64, and all had given birth…