Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing childhood leukemia, according to a new analysis of 14 studies by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The paper, to be published November in the journal Public Health Reports, found that breastfeeding was linked to lower risks of both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common of the childhood cancers, and acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML).
“Our paper is the first to systematically review the epidemiologic evidence of the link between maternal breastfeeding and the risk of childhood leukemia,” said Marilyn Kwan, UC Berkeley post-doctoral researcher in epidemiology at the School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “We conducted this meta-analysis because the studies that had been conducted previously have been inconclusive and contradictory. Our review of the scientific literature shows that the evidence is definitely pointing towards the benefits of breastfeeding when it comes to the risk for two kinds of childhood leukemia, ALL and AML.”
Sarah Yang | EurekAlert!
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