ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
CANCER
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Add your Article

Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Add yet another potential benefit to breast-feeding: Fewer behavioral problems in young children.

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found.

And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breast-feeding, meaning that a child who had been breast-fed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breast-fed for just two months.

"This is an early finding, but it suggests that breast-feeding during infancy could have an effect on behavior during childhood," said the study's lead author, Dr. Katherine Hobbs Knutson, a resident in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

She was to present the findings Wednesday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, in San Diego.

Previous research has shown that breast milk offers numerous benefits for babies and that breast-feeding can benefit both mother and infant. Babies who are breast-fed are less likely to suffer from ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, wheezing, and bacterial and viral illnesses, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Research has also linked breast-feeding with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and certain cancers, according to the AAP.

For mothers, breast-feeding helps the uterus quickly return to its pre-pregnancy shape and helps burn additional calories, which can help get rid of extra pregnancy weight, the AAP reports. Additionally, breast-feeding is believed to help nurture the mother-child bond.

The new study reviewed more than 100,000 interviews of parents and guardians of children between the ages of 10 months and 18 years who participated in the National Survey of Children's Health. Parents were asked about breast-feeding and about their child's behavior and mental health.

Examples of questions included: Are you currently concerned a lot, a little or not at all about how your child behaves? How he/she is learning pre-school or school skills? Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child has behavioral or conduct problems?

Parents of children who were breast-fed were 15 percent less likely to be concerned about their child's behavior, compared to formula-fed infants. And the breast-fed children were 37 percent less likely to have a medically diagnosed behavioral or conduct problem, according to the study.

And, Knutson said, the effect of breast-feeding appeared to be cumulative, with those who were breast-fed for a longer duration even less likely to have behavior problems.

She also said the study found "a correlation between breast-feeding and cognitive development."

"These findings are certainly intriguing," said Dr. Debra Bogen, a pediatrician in the division of general academic pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The study adds to the "overwhelming evidence that women should, if they can, offer breast milk to their babies," she added.

Both Bogen and Knutson said the nutritional composition of breast milk might have an effect on the way a baby's brain develops, and that better nutrition could explain the behavioral differences. But both experts felt it was too soon to know for sure the exact cause of the potentially protective effect.

More information

For more on the benefits of breast-feeding, visit the National Women's Health Information Center.



SOURCES: Katherine Hobbs Knutson, M.D., resident, department of psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Debra Bogen, M.D., pediatrician, division of general academic pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Oct. 29, 2008, presentation, American Public Health Association annual meeting, San Diego

Last Updated: Oct. 29, 2008

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