Chalk up another health benefit from breastfeeding. New research out of Tel Aviv University has found a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, even when other known risk factors are taken into consideration.
The findings, published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, are the latest to show breastfeeding has a positive impact on child development and health — including protection against illness.
For the study, researchers led by Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, M.D., of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and head of the Child Neurodevelopmental Center in Loewenstein Hospital, compared the breastfeeding habits of parents of three groups of children: those diagnosed with ADHD; siblings of those with ADHD; and children without ADHD.
The researchers found children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period. At three months, only 43 percent of children in the ADHD group were breastfed compared to 69 percent of the sibling group and 73 percent of the others. At six months, 29 percent of the ADHD group was breastfed, compared to 50 percent of the sibling group and 57 percent of the others.
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