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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Association of breastfeeding with postmenopausal visceral adiposity among three racial/ethnic groups

  • Author(s): Armenta, RF
  • Kritz-Silverstein, D
  • Wingard, D
  • Laughlin, GA
  • Wooten, W
  • Barrett-Connor, E
  • Araneta, MR
  • et al.

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© 2014 The Obesity Society. Objective We examined the association between breastfeeding and postmenopausal visceral adiposity. Methods Participants were community-dwelling women aged 55-80 from the Caucasian Rancho Bernardo Study, the Filipino Women's Health Study, and the Health Assessment Study of African-American Women who had visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measurements by computed tomography between 2000 and 2002. Linear regression was used to determine the association between average breastfeeding duration per child and VAT. Results In Caucasian, Filipino, and African-American women, average number of live births was 3, 4, and 3; average breastfeeding duration was 4.3, 1.8, and 5.1 months, respectively. Filipino women had more live births, were more likely to breastfeed, and breastfed shorter durations. African-American women had lower VAT, despite higher subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), BMI, and waist girth. Women who breastfed >3 months on average had 8.8 cm3lower VAT than women who breastfed ≤3 months, independent of covariates. Women who initiated breastfeeding had lower BMI and waist girth than those who did not, but they did not differ by VAT unless they breastfed >3 months. Associations were independent of race/ethnicity. Conclusions Results suggest breastfeeding initiation is associated with reduced BMI and smaller waist girth, and breastfeeding >3 months is associated with lower postmenopausal VAT.

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