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Breastfeeding linked to lower stroke risk

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(Reuters Health) - Breastfeeding may protect a woman from stroke later in life, and the benefit appears to increase with the length of time she nurses, a U.S. study suggests.

Postmenopausal women who said they breastfed at least one child had a 23 percent lower risk of stroke in middle and old age compared with women who had children but didn’t breastfeed, researchers found. The effect was strongest among black women, whose stroke risk was cut nearly in half with breastfeeding.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death among U.S. women aged 65 and older and the third leading cause among Hispanic and black women in that age group, the study’s authors note in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


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