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Babies who were breastfed for longer linked to better test scores: study

Babies who were breastfed for longer linked to better test scores: study

A study held in Britain has found that children who were breastfed for longer as babies are more likely to have better academic performances later in their adolescent years.

"It found that the longer children were breastfed, the better they performed on standardised assessment tests," said researcher Dr Renee Pereyra-Elias. "Breastfeeding duration was associated with improved educational outcomes at age 16 among children living in England, after controlling for important confounders," said the study in conclusion.

A sample group included 5,000 British children who were observed from the early 2000s in their infancy through high school. These children were enrolled in state schools in England. Markers like family-level and area-level socioeconomic status and maternal intelligence were taken into account to detect the outcome differences between several breastfeeding duration groups.

Researchers said breastfeeding should be encouraged because academic achievement is only one of its potential benefits.

"Breastfeeding should continue to be encouraged when possible, as potential improvements in academic achievement constitute only one of its potential benefits. Future studies should adjust for both socioeconomic circumstances (comprehensively) and maternal general intelligence," wrote the researchers.

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