Diabetes Metab J.  2019 Apr;43(2):236-241. 10.4093/dmj.2018.0044.

Associations between Breastfeeding and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Glycemic Control in Parous Women: A Nationwide, Population-Based Study

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Sahmyook Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Medical Statistics, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. ygpark@catholic.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
  • 5Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA. mark.park@nih.gov


We investigated associations between breastfeeding duration and number of children breastfed and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and glycemic control among parous women. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data for 9,960 parous women from the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (2010 to 2013). Having ever breastfed was inversely associated with prevalent T2DM (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.87). All ranges of total and average breastfeeding duration showed inverse associations with T2DM. Even short periods of breastfeeding were inversely associated with T2DM (adjusted OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.99 for a total breastfeeding duration ≤12 months; adjusted OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.99 for an average breastfeeding duration per child ≤6 months). A longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with better glycemic control in parous women with T2DM (P trend=0.004 for total breastfeeding duration; P trend <0.001 for average breastfeeding duration per child). Breastfeeding may be associated with a lower risk of T2DM and good glycemic control in parous women with T2DM. Breastfeeding may be a feasible method to prevent T2DM and improve glycemic control.


Blood glucose; Breast feeding; Control; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Female; Lactation

MeSH Terms

Blood Glucose
Breast Feeding*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
Odds Ratio
Blood Glucose
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