Longer durations of breastfeeding lowers the risk of childhood cancers

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In a caller study published successful JAMA Network Open, a Danish squad of researchers investigated whether long of breastfeeding was associated pinch a little consequence of puerility cancers specified arsenic acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

 SeventyFour/Shutterstock.comStudy: Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration and Risk of Childhood Cancers. Image Credit: SeventyFour/Shutterstock.com


The incidence of crab among children beneath nan property of 15 years successful Europe is 1 among each 350, and crab has nan highest complaint of disease-related decease among children.

Furthermore, though uncommon mutations successful nan germline relationship for 10% of puerility cancers, nan causes of these puerility cancers proceed to stay unclear.

The astir communal of these puerility cancers is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Other communal puerility cancers see Hodgkin lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and neuroblastoma.

Recent studies person observed a little consequence of puerility cancers associated pinch breastfeeding. Pooled studies and meta-analyses person recovered a 20% little consequence of puerility cancers specified arsenic ALL aliases immoderate different type of leukemia among children who person been breastfed for a minimum of six months.

The domiciled of breastmilk successful establishing nan infant's gut microbiome and strengthening nan immune strategy during infancy is good supported.

Furthermore, B-cell precursor ALL has been linked to irregular immune responses, and animal studies person besides indicated a relationship betwixt nan pathogenesis of B-cell precursor ALL and nan gut microbiome.

About nan study

In nan coming study, nan researchers utilized information from nan wellness registry of nan state for a cohort study successful which they investigated whether nan long of breastfeeding had an effect connected puerility crab risk.

The study included Danish children calved betwixt 2005 and 2018, and nan registry was utilized to get sociodemographic accusation connected nan kid and parents.

Additionally, nan Medical Birth Register provided information connected commencement characteristics, while nan mother’s acquisition levels were ascertained from nan Population Education Register.

The study excluded children pinch incomplete accusation connected gestational age, commencement weight, and mother’s property and acquisition levels.

Additionally, children pinch Down’s syndrome diagnosed arsenic per nan International Statistical Classification of Diseases were besides excluded from nan study since their chopped biology increases their consequence of leukemia.

The registry besides contained accusation connected breastfeeding, collected during regular location visits by wellness attraction nurses passim nan early years of nan child’s life. Data connected nan long of exclusive breastfeeding, defined arsenic nan play during which nan infant’s superior root of nutrition consisted of breastmilk, pinch only h2o and 1 beverage look repast a week supplementing nan nutrition, was obtained.

The day nan kid began receiving coagulated foods aliases aggregate look meals a week was besides obtained to find nan cessation of exclusive breastfeeding.

Children not exclusively breastfed 2 weeks aft commencement were classified arsenic ‘never breastfed’ for this analysis. The registry besides provided accusation connected children pinch crab diagnoses betwixt nan ages of 1 and 14 years.

The children were followed up betwixt nan ages of 1 and 15 years aliases until a crab diagnosis, death, emigration, follow-up loss, aliases extremity of study.

The measured vulnerability was nan long for which exclusive breastfeeding was nan superior root of nutrition for nan infant, and nan examined result was immoderate relation betwixt breastfeeding long and wide puerility crab risk, arsenic good arsenic puerility crab consequence by subtype.


The results supported erstwhile findings that breastfeeding for longer durations decreased nan consequence of B-cell precursor ALL.

Children whose superior root of nutrition for nan first 3 months was exclusively breastmilk were astatine a importantly little consequence of B-cell precursor ALL from property 1 to 14 years arsenic compared to children who were either ne'er breastfed aliases were exclusively breastfed for little than 3 months.

However, nan long of breastfeeding was not recovered to beryllium associated pinch nan consequence of coagulated aliases cardinal tense strategy tumors successful children betwixt nan ages of 1 and 14 years.

B-cell precursor ALL successful children is speculated to create earlier commencement owed to an unexplained familial arena that results successful preleukemia. Although not each children calved pinch preleukemia create B-cell precursor ALL, nan progression of preleukemia to ALL is believed to beryllium owed to aberrant immune responses to infection.

Longer exclusive breastfeeding durations tin forestall immune strategy dysregulation successful infants.

The transmission of antibodies and nan anti-inflammatory properties of breastmilk tin supply nan babe pinch a robust immune strategy and thief found a patient gut microbiome successful nan infant, which helps successful nan maturation of nan immune system.


Overall, nan findings supported nan value of breastfeeding and ensuring longer durations of an exclusively breastmilk fare successful reducing nan consequence of puerility cancers specified arsenic ALL.

The study reported a importantly little consequence of B-cell precursor ALL successful infants fed exclusively connected breastmilk for much than 3 months arsenic compared to infants who were breastfed for little than 3 months.

Journal reference:

  • Søegaard, S. H., Andersen, M. M., Rostgaard, K., Davidsson, Olafur Birgir, Olsen, S. F., Schmiegelow, K., & Hjalgrim, H. (2024). Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration and Risk of Childhood Cancers. JAMA Network Open, doi: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.3115. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2816747