WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Longer breastfeeding duration is associated with modest improvements in educational outcomes at age 16 years, according to a study published online June 5 in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Reneé Pereyra-Elías, D.Phil., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the association between breastfeeding duration and educational outcomes at the end of secondary education (age 16 years) among nearly 5,000 children (born in 2000 to 2002).
The researchers found that longer breastfeeding was associated with better educational outcomes. Compared with children who were never breastfed, those who were breastfed for longer were more likely to have a high pass in their English and Mathematics General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs), when adjusting for socioeconomic markers and maternal cognitive ability. Compared with those never breastfed, those breastfed for at least four months had on average a 2- to 3-point higher attainment 8 score, which was the sum of all GCSEs (coefficients: 2.10 at four to six months; 2.56 at six to 12 months; 3.09 for ≥12 months).
“Breastfeeding should continue to be encouraged when possible, as the potential improvements in academic achievement seen in this study constitute only one of its potential benefits,” the authors write.
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