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Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 316–321 | Cite as

Maternal Visceral Adiposity by Consistency of Lactation

  • Candace K. McClureEmail author
  • Janet Catov
  • Roberta Ness
  • Eleanor Bimla Schwarz
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the assocation between lactation and maternal visceral adiposity among US women who were on average 7 years postpartum. This cross-sectional analysis included 89 women who gave birth between 1997 and 2002, who did not have preeclampsia, prepregnancy hypertension or prepregnancy diabetes, and enrolled in The Women and Infant Study of Healthy Hearts (WISH). Computed tomography was used to assess abdominal adiposity. History of lactation was self-reported. Visceral adiposity was greater by 36.96 cm2 (95% CI: 20.92,53.01) among mothers who never breastfed than mothers who breastfed for ≥3 months after every birth, even after adjustment for age, parity, years since last birth, site, socioeconomic, lifestyle, psychological, and family history variables, early adult BMI, and current BMI. Similarly, in fully adjusted models, mothers who breastfed any of their children for less than 3 months had 20.38 cm2 (95% CI: 2.70, 38.06) greater visceral adiposity than mothers who consistently breastfed all their children for 3 or more months. This study found that 7 years postpartum visceral fat depots are significantly greater among mothers who lactated for less than 3 months after the birth of each of their children. These results provide a potential physiologic basis for prior findings that women who do not consistently breastfeed are at an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and the metabolic syndrome.

Keywords

Lactation Maternal health Obesity Visceral adiposity Women 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The WISH Study was funded by NIH grants R01 HL076532. In addition, Dr. Schwarz was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development, K23HD051585.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Candace K. McClure
    • 1
    Email author
  • Janet Catov
    • 2
  • Roberta Ness
    • 3
  • Eleanor Bimla Schwarz
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.The University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of Pittsburgh, Center for Research on Health CarePittsburghUSA

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