The effect of breastfeeding on child development at 5 years: A cohort study
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2008
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 37, Issue 5, pages 465–469, October 2001
How to Cite
Quinn, P., O'Callaghan, M., Williams, G., Najman, J., Andersen, M. and Bor, W. (2001), The effect of breastfeeding on child development at 5 years: A cohort study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 37: 465–469. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2001.00702.x
- Issue published online: 7 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2008
- child development;
Objective: It is uncertain to what degree the relationship between breastfeeding and later cognitive development is a true biological effect, or is confounded by psychosocial factors. The study aim was to further investigate this relationship and the effect of duration of breast feeding on cognitive development.
Methods: A total of 3880 children were followed from birth. Breastfeeding duration was measured by questionaire at 6 months of age and a Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised (PPVT-R) was administered at 5 years. PPVT-R scores were adjusted for the effects of a large array of biological and psychosocial confounders. The relationship between breastfeeding and the mean PPVT-R scores were examined using analysis of variance and multiple linear regression.
Results: A strong positive relationship was demonstrated between breastfeeding and the PPVT-R scores with increasing scores with increased duration of breastfeeding. After adjusting for a wide range of biological and social factors, the adjusted mean for those breastfed for 6 months or more was 8.2 points higher for females and 5.8 points for males when compared to those never breastfed.
Conclusion: These findings suggest a significant benefit to child development is conferred by breastfeeding and is related independently to longer periods of breastfeeding.