Document Detail

Does breastfeeding really save lives, or are apparent benefits due to biases?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3946377     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Analysis of mothers' recall data collected in 1976-1977 by a probability survey in Peninsular Malaysia shows an association between breastfeeding up to six months of age and improved survival of infants throughout the first year of life. Inappropriate sample selection and inadequate control of confounding can introduce large biases in these analyses. The magnitude and direction of these biases are presented. Even when these biases are dealt with, unsupplemented breastfeeding appears more beneficial than supplemented breastfeeding. The younger the infant and the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the estimated benefits in terms of deaths averted. The use of powdered infant formula did not appear to offset the detrimental effects of early weaning and supplementation. The positive relationships found in these analyses between breastfeeding and survival are not due to death precluding or terminating breastfeeding. Nor are they likely to be due to a shift away from breastfeeding because of recent illness, which was also controlled in the analyses. Nor are they likely to be due to other factors that both increase mortality risk and shorten breastfeeding; when such factors are taken into account, the beneficial effects of breastfeeding become stronger and imply that, if there had been no breastfeeding in this sample, twice as many babies would have died after the first week of life.
J P Habicht; J DaVanzo; W P Butz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of epidemiology     Volume:  123     ISSN:  0002-9262     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Epidemiol.     Publication Date:  1986 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1986-02-24     Completed Date:  1986-02-24     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7910653     Medline TA:  Am J Epidemiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  279-90     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Breast Feeding*
Developing Countries
Epidemiologic Methods
Infant Food*
Infant Mortality*
Infant, Newborn
Regression Analysis
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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