Breastfeeding and Maternal hypertension

Sangshin Park, Nam Kyong Choi

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23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Little is known about the relationship between breastfeeding and hypertension. We performed this study to identify whether breastfeeding itself influenced maternal hypertension and whether degree of obesity or insulin sensitivity would contribute to the relationship between breastfeeding and hypertension in postmenopausal women. METHODS: Our study population comprised 3,119 nonsmoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or above in the 2010-2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We performed logistic regression analyses to examine the relationship between breastfeeding and hypertension and mediation analyses to examine the contributions of obesity and insulin sensitivity to the breastfeeding-hypertension relationship. RESULTS: The odds ratios, with 95% confidence intervals, for hypertension among the highest quintile of number of breastfed children (5-11) and the highest quintile of duration of breastfeeding (96-324 months) were 0.49 (0.31-0.75) and 0.55 (0.37-0.82), respectively, compared to each of lowest quintile groups. The population attributable fractions of hypertension caused by breastfeeding 3 or fewer children and breastfeeding for 56 months or less were 10.2% (P < 0.001) and 6.5% (P = 0.017), respectively. In the mediation analysis, unexpectedly, increased insulin resistance significantly attenuated the protective effect on hypertension of having breastfed more children; additionally, greater obesity and insulin resistance significantly attenuated the protective effects on hypertension of having breastfed for longer. CONCLUSIONS: More children breastfed and longer duration of breastfeeding were associated with lower risk of hypertension in postmenopausal women, and degree of obesity and insulin resistance moderated the breastfeeding-hypertension association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - 13 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.


  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index
  • Breastfeeding
  • Hypertension
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lactation


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