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Saturday, July 06, 2013
Trailers (52): Maternal disease and suboptimal breastfeeding

Bartick et al. Cost analysis of maternal disease associated with suboptimal breastfeeding

Why should you read about this topic?

Improvement in breastfeeding rate is all about leverage.  We need all we can get.

What were the authors trying to do?

Estimate the US maternal health cost of suboptimal breastfeeding rates

Who participated and in what setting?

No participants. 

What was the study design?

Cost analysis of suboptimal 1-year breastfeeding rate (23%) referenced to optimal rate (90%)

What were the main outcome measures?

Estimated annual economic costs in 2011 dollars

What were the results?

Suboptimal breastfeeding rates yield a loss to the US of $18.3 B for maternal disease, primarily driven by premature death.

What is the most interesting image in the paper?

Table 3

What were the study strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: conservative cost estimates with high-quality sources. Weaknesses: simulation models are only as good as their assumptions; investigators assumed a causal relationship between lactation and selected maternal health outcomes

What does the study contribute for your practice?

It is doubtful that the information presented will influence the individual woman, but it should capture the attention of health policy makers.

About the Author

William C. Dodson, MD
William C. Dodson, MD, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Penn State College of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Duke University. His research and clinical areas of focus include treatment of infertility, especially ovulation induction. He was previously on the Editorial Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and has served as the Consultant Web Editor for Obstetrics & Gynecology since 2008.

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