THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Associations between breastfeeding duration and cognitive scores persist after adjusting for socioeconomic factors and maternal cognitive ability, though the effect is modest, a published study finds. online May 25 in PLOS ONE.
Reneé Pereyra-Elías, MD, of the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues assessed whether the association between breastfeeding and cognition was explained by socioeconomic position (SEP) and cognition maternal. The analysis focused on 7,855 single births (from 2000 to 2002) followed until the age of 14 years.
The researchers found that at all ages, longer breastfeeding durations were associated with higher cognitive scores, even after controlling for the child’s own characteristics. Effect size was halved when adjusting for MS. The remaining associations were removed at age 5 when further adjusted for maternal cognitive scores, but not at ages 7, 11, and 14 (eg, verbal scores at age 14 years: breastfed ≥ 12 months versus never breastfed, standard deviation of 0.26).
“This suggests that the role of breastfeeding on child cognitive scores should not be underestimated,” the authors write. “Although a small increase in cognitive outcomes may not be clinically significant at the individual level, it has the potential to be influential at the population level.”