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Heart disease from poor supplementary diet, not breast feeding

MagazineMay 1993 (Vol. 4 Issue 2)Heart disease from poor supplementary diet, not breast feeding

Some months back (WDDTY vol 3 no 3) you published information criticizing a study published in the BMJ (7 March 1992) of 5000 men from Hertfordshire supposedly showing that long term breastfeeding was associated with heart disease in later life

Some months back (WDDTY vol 3 no 3) you published information criticizing a study published in the BMJ (7 March 1992) of 5000 men from Hertfordshire supposedly showing that long term breastfeeding was associated with heart disease in later life. This paper caused a terrible stir in the press and among breastfeeding mothers.

My own view of the paper is that the key factor causing the increased predisposition to heart disease is probably the inadequacy of the non milk nutrition of the children. Indirect evidence for this point of view is provided in the paper: "Among men who had not been weaned it was the men with higher birth weights but lower weights at one year who had the higher death rates from ischaemic heart diseases." This clearly sounds like a group of children who are failing to thrive, and the predisposition to heart disease is probably secondary to this.It seems to be that inadequate weight gain would very likely be due to inadequate food or no extra solid food. This would be more likely in a situation of poverty, and the study makes it clear that the men breastfed for more than a year were substantially more likely to have been born into a family of social class IV or V than any of the other groups. Harry Torney, Dublin...

Mr Torney is a holistic dentist who has been doing a good deal of research into the benefits of breastfeeding.


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