Hypertension can be reduced by breastfeeding for longer

BREASTFEEDING for a year or more might protect against incident hypertension, an observational study suggests.

A study of more than 55,000 parous women enrolled in the US Nurses’ Health Study II found that, independent of BMI and multiple lifestyle factors, women who breastfed each child for less than nine months had an increased risk of hypertension compared to those who breastfed each child for 12 months or more.

Women who never breastfed exclusively had a greater risk of developing hypertension compared to women who breastfed exclusively for six months.

Researchers speculate that either oxytocins or prolactin may be protective.