In a prospective study of over 1,300 mother-child pairs enrolled in Project Viva, child cognition was assessed at 3 and 7 years of age using standardized assessment tools to examine any relationship to breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. Maternal fish intake during lactation was also evaluated to explore possible effects of diet on breastfeeding/cognition associations.
Results indicated that longer breastfeeding duration was associated with greater receptive language skills at age 3 and higher intelligence at age 7. Additionally, at the age 3 assessment, the children of mothers whose diet included 2 or more servings of fish per week performed better in visual-motor skills than those whose mothers consumed less than 2 servings per week.
Senior author Emily Oken, MD, MPH, believes examining the relationship between breastfeeding and cognitive development is important because few studies have quantified breastfeeding duration and exclusivity, or have explored the potential effect of the diet of breastfeeding mothers.
In a recent New York Times “Your Money” column, DPM researcher Frank Wharam, MB, BCh, BAO, MPH discusses the results of his recently published Medical Care article, which found that of subscribers in high-deductible health care plans, men are more likely than women to avoid necessary medical care. Since the Affordable Care Act is expected to increase the number of people enrolled in high-deductible plans, enrollment in plans that have high out-of-pocket costs could further reduce use of health care services among men.
The NYT columnist reflects on the gender differences cited in Dr. Wharam’s study and offers men on high-deductible plans some questions to consider when deciding to seek medical care. Alison Galbraith, MD, MPH, also a contributor to the article, suggests men engage their physicians in conversation about the cost of medical care, and whether cheaper, alternative treatments are available.
To read the full New York Times article, click here.
To read Dr. Wharam’s study abstract, click here.