Tuesday, May 10, 2011

'Breastfed babies grow to be better behaved children'

This is real old chestnut. And the research is pathetic. What the authors have most likely shown is that higher IQ and middle class mothers are more likely to breastfeed and the children concerned inherit their mothers' characteristics genetically. Even that is uncertain as the data was a garbagy retrospective self-report questionnaire: The lowest of the low in methodology

Just four months of breastfeeding can cut the risk of children becoming badly behaved by almost a third, a study suggests.

It found 16 per cent of children brought up on formula milk had problems including anxiety, lying, stealing and hyperactivity – more than double the proportion breastfed for at least four months.

When other influences are taken into account, such as social and economic background, the reduction in the risk of behavioural problems at age five brought about by breastfeeding is 30 per cent, according to the Oxford University study.

New mothers are advised to breastfeed for the first six months to protect their babies against stomach bugs, chest infections, asthma, eczema and allergies. It also has health benefits for mothers.

But the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with almost one in three new mothers never attempting it, compared with 2 per cent of mothers in Sweden.

The study of 9,500 mothers and babies was led by Dr Maria Quigley of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University.

Dr Quigley said possible reasons for the findings included greater interaction between mother and child because of close physical contact from an early age.

In the study of infants born in the UK over a 12-month period between 2000 and 2001, 29 per cent of children born after a full-term pregnancy and 21 per cent of those born prematurely were breastfed for at least four months.

Parents were asked to complete questionnaires designed to assess the behaviour of their children at the age of five.

The results showed that 16 per cent of formula-fed children and 6 per cent of breastfed children were given abnormal scores, indicating behavioural problems.

For full-term babies, the pattern persisted after taking account of social and economic factors, says a report in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Dr Quigley said: ‘We found that children who were breastfed for at least four months were less likely to have behavioural problems at age five. However, that observation might not have been the direct result of breastfeeding – it could have been down to a number of factors.

'Fewer behavioural problems are another potential benefit of breastfeeding' ‘As a group, mothers who breastfed for four months were very different socially to those who formula fed. They were more likely to be older, better educated and in a higher socio-economic position.’

Dr Quigley added: ‘We just don’t know whether it is because of the constituents in breast milk which are lacking in formula, or the close interaction with the mum during breastfeeding. ‘But it does begin to look like we can add fewer behavioural problems as another potential benefit of breastfeeding.’


Painkillers like ibuprofen 'increase second heart attack risk'

I would like to know WHY some patients were given NSAIDS and some were not. Were they more disressed to start with? That could explain the outcomes noted

Ibuprofen and other similar painkillers can significantly increase the risk of heart attack patients suffering a second incident soon after the first, a study has found.

Heart attack survivors on prescription doses of a group of painkiller called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include ibuprofen, were 45 per cent more likely to suffer a second attack within a week of the first as those taking none, found Danish researchers.

Those taking one in particular, called diclofenac, were three times more likely to suffer another heart attack within a week of the first.

The results were from a study almost 84,000 Danish heart attack survivors, whose average age was 68. Almost half (42 per cent) were taking a prescription NSAID.

According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), "some standard NSAIDs have been shown to be associated with a small increased risk of heart attack and stroke, especially when used in high doses and for long periods".

But Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, from Copenhagen University, who led the study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, said: "What we show is that even for the shortest time periods, these can be dangerous."

For those on prescription ibuprofen - with the average dose being 1,600mg per day - there was no increased risk of a recurrent heart attack within seven days, she said. However, between eight days and 14 weeks the risk was raised by 50 per cent, compared to taking nothing.

It is not known exactly why NSAIDs increase heart disease risk, although Olsen said they appeared to increase blood clot formation and systemic blood pressure.


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