Breastfeeding leads to lower blood pressure in 7-year-old Japanese children: Tohoku Study of Child Development

Miki Hosaka, Kei Asayama*, Jan A. Staessen, Takayoshi Ohkubo, Katsuhisa Hayashi, Nozomi Tatsuta, Naoyuki Kurokawa, Michihiro Satoh, Takanao Hashimoto, Takuo Hirose, Taku Obara, Hirohito Metoki, Ryusuke Inoue, Masahiro Kikuya, Kunihiko Nakai, Yutaka Imai, Hiroshi Satoh

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study investigated the association between breastfeeding and both self-measured home blood pressure (HBP) and conventional blood pressure (CBP) in 7-year-old Japanese children. We obtained data pertaining to breastfeeding and blood pressure for 377 mother-offspring pairs from the Tohoku Study of Child Development, which is a prospective birth cohort study. Information on breastfeeding and other factors were obtained from parental questionnaires during the follow-up period. Based on the duration of breastfeeding as a major source of nutrition, mother-offspring pairs were divided into short-term (mean, 5.1 months) and long-term (mean, 11.3 months) breastfeeding groups. At the age of 7 years (84.4 +/- 1.8 months), each child's blood pressure was measured. The HBP in the long-term breastfeeding (LBF) group (92.9 mm Hg systolic/55.1 mm Hg diastolic) was significantly lower (P=0.006/0.04) than in the short-term breastfeeding group (94.7/56.4 mm Hg); however, there were no significant differences in the CBP measurements between the short-and LBF groups. Using multiple regression analysis, the duration of breastfeeding (greater than 8 months) was more strongly associated with HBP (P=0.008/0.05) than with CBP (P=0.4/0.9). Furthermore, the adjusted R-squared values for HBP (0.25/0.12) tended to be higher than those for CBP (0.07/0.03). These findings were independent of the birth weight. In conclusion, breastfeeding has a protective effect against elevated blood pressure even in young children, and subtle, but important, differences were precisely detected by self-measurements performed at home. Hypertension Research (2013) 36, 117-122; doi:10.1038/hr.2012.128; published online 6 September 2012
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
JournalHypertension Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • breastfeeding
  • child
  • home blood pressure
  • infant nutrition
  • self-measurement

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