ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
The Unmedicated Mind
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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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