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Breastfeeding may lower the risk of leukaemia

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Promoting breastfeeding for six months or more may help lower childhood leukaemia incidence, according to Israeli researchers.

The study authors looked at 18 existing studies, finding an association between childhood cancer rates and whether infants had been breastfed.

Based on the meta-analyses results, 14% to 19% of all childhood leukaemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more, said the researchers from the University of Haifa.

Their findings have been published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Janet Fyle, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The evidence about the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child is incredibly strong and well established.

“This research underpins yet again why breastfeeding should be encouraged and supported,” she added.

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