Long-term effects of breastfeeding – A systematic review
Breastfeeding has well-established short-term benefits, particularly the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases in childhood. A pooled analysis of studies carried out in middle/ low income countries showed that breastfeeding substantially lowers the risk of death from infectious diseases in the first two years of life.
Based on data from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort, Quigley et al estimated that optimal breastfeeding practices could prevent a substantial proportion of hospital admissions due to diarrhea and lower respiratory tract infection. A systematic review by Kramer et al confirmed that exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months decreases morbidity from gastrointestinal and allergic diseases, without any negative effects on growth.
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