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Association Between Duration of Breastfeeding and Adult Intelligence

In the May 8, 2002 publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA) releases a report that shows that the longer a baby breast feeds, the more likely their intelligence level will be higher once they become a grownup. Based on the study the outcomes indicated that the length of breastfeeding was connected with significantly higher scores on the Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQs testing.

The research was conducted in a sample of 3253 men and women, most of whom were born in Copenhagen, Denmark, between October 1959 and December 1961. The subjects were broken into 5 categories depending on length of breastfeeding, as assessed by physician interview with mothers at a 1-year examination. The common results indicated that for infants that breast fed for under one month the typical adult IQ at age 27 was 99.4. Conversely infants that breast fed for over 9 months showed the average IQ at age 27 of 104.0. Infants between the breast fed durations of under one month and more than 9 months showed IQs which were between 99.4 and 104.0.

This data convinced researchers of a direct correlation between period of time that the infant breast feeds and the probable adult IQ rate later in life. The researchers concluded, "Independent of a wide range of possible confounding factors, a significant positive association between duration of breastfeeding and intelligence was observed in 2 independent samples of young adults, assessed with 2 different intelligence tests."

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