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Breast-Feeding May Cut Postneonatal Death Risk
Promoting breast-feeding could prevent or delay about 720 postneonatal deaths every year in the United States, Dr. Aimin Chen and Dr. Walter J. Rogan said. Breast-feeding is associated with a reduced risk of death not only from infection, but also from injury and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), they reported. In their study, there was a 21% reduced risk of postneonatal death even among briefly breast-fed infants compared with those who were never breast-fed. The finding does not necessarily represent a causal link, but the association is strong enough for health care providers to renew efforts to promote breast-feeding, especially among women of lower socioeconomic status (Pediatrics 113:435-39, 2004).