Is exclusive breastfeeding and its duration related to cardio respiratory fitness in childhood?

Mohammadreza Vafa* (Corresponding Author), Javad Heshmati, Homa Sadeghi, Farzad Shidfar, Nazli Namazi, Hamidreza Baradaran, Behzad Heydarpour, Zahra Jalili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objective: This study investigated the effect of breastfeeding on cardio respiratory fitness (CRF) in students of Kermanshah, Iran.Methods and materials: In this retrospective cohort study, 246 students with the mean ± SD age of 7.28 ± 0.50 years, mean breastfeeding ± SD duration of 8.20 ± 10.26 months, and body mass index (BMI) of 16.96 ± 3.03 kg/m2 participated. Students had no CVD, liver or kidney diseases. Children were categorized in three groups of over 6 months breast-fed (>6 months group), less than 6 months breast-fed (≤6 months group), and formula group. The physician measured CRF calculating VO2 max; and reported the results as fitness or no fitness. The probable confounders were gender, BMI, fat-free mass, fat mass, mothers BMI, dietary Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) and folate, beginning time of supplementary nutrition, physical activity, and birth weight.Results: Breastfeeding more than 6 months was positively associated with CRF (p value < 0.001) before and after adjustment for confounders. The risk ratio (RR) of no CRF was 3.22 times more than >6 months group. VO2 max (ml/kg/min) was significantly the highest in >6 months group (p value = 0.001).Conclusion: Breastfeeding more than 6 months has positive effects on CRF, and the early nutrition may be a predictor for adolescence physical health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date6 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Breastfeeding
  • cardio respiratory fitness
  • nutrition
  • students


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