Breastfed Infants May Have Lower Risk of Adult Depression

A new study conducted in Germany is suggesting that being breastfed as an infant may lower a person’s chance of experiencing clinical depression as an adult. has more:

Researchers looked at 52 people, whose average age was 44, who were being treated for major depression at  an inpatient facility, and compared them with 106 healthy people who had never been diagnosed with depression. Participants were considered to have been breast-fed if either they or their mothers said they had nursed for at least two weeks.

Results showed that 73 percent of those without depression had been breast-fed, whereas 46 percent of people with depression were breast-fed. The association held when researchers took into account factors that could affect participants’ risk of depression, such as age, gender and mother’s level of education.

Additionally, the researchers found that how long a person had been breast-fed did not matter in terms of their depression risk.

While the finding suggests a link, it does not suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between breast-feeding and depression, the researchers said.

Image: Mother breastfeeding an infant, via Shutterstock

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  1. by Cindy

    On September 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

    This is why breastfeeding ‘studies’ will never be taken seriously. Let’s rip this one apart point by point:

    –small sample size
    –putting into groups after the fact (you’re either diagnosed with depression or deemed ‘healthy’ as an adult)
    –self report (people say they were breastfed or not – or that they did breastfeed)
    – percentages are pointless in research; either you have a signifcant finding or effect size or yo have nothing
    – did not control for environmental factors that can also cause depression (job, homelife, etc.)

    As a researcher myself, “studies” like this infuriate me. And it blows my mind Germany doesn’t have anything better to spend it’s time or money on.

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