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1 "Dajeong Ham"
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Original Article
Associations of breastfeeding duration and the total number of children breastfed with self-reported osteoarthritis in Korea women 50 years and older: a cross-sectional study
Dajeong Ham, Sanghyuk Bae
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023044.   Published online April 13, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023044
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease, with a higher prevalence among women than men. The present study aimed to examine the associations of breastfeeding duration and the total number of children breastfed with osteoarthritis in Korean women aged 50 years and older.
METHODS
In this cross-sectional study, we used representative data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, phases 5 through 7 (2010-2018). Our analysis included 10,102 women aged ≥50 years. Osteoarthritis experience was defined as whether a physician had ever diagnosed osteoarthritis. Breastfeeding duration was categorized as 1-6 months, 7-24 months, and ≥25 months. The total number of children breastfed was categorized as 1-2, 3-4, and ≥5. The covariates were health behavior characteristics and risks of diseases (smoking, drinking, physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, oral contraceptive use, and menopause) as well as socioeconomic characteristics (income, educational level, and occupation). A multiple logistic regression model was used to investigate associations between osteoarthritis and aspects of breastfeeding experience.
RESULTS
Compared to the non-breastfeeding group, the breastfeeding group had an odds ratio (OR) of 1.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 2.03) for osteoarthritis. Those who reported breastfeeding for >25 months had an OR of 1.56 (95% CI, 1.19 to 2.06).
CONCLUSIONS
The advantages of breastfeeding are already well known, but the present study suggests that women who breastfeed children for a longer time may have a higher risk of osteoarthritis after middle age.
Summary
Korean summary
골관절염은 가장 흔한 관절 질환이며 유병률은 여성에서 더 높다. 본 연구는 국민건강영양조사의 50세 이상 여성 10,130명을 대상으로 모유수유경험과 골관절염의 유병율 사이의 연관성을 분석하였다. 모유 수유의 이점은 이미 잘 알려져 있지만, 모유 수유 기간이 길수록 골관절염에 걸릴 가능성이 더 높음을 관찰하였다.
Key Message
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common disorders in elderly women and identifying risk factors may contribute to screening and early treatment. In the present article, we analyzed the association of breastfeeding and related factors with prevalent osteoarthritis in Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The advantages of breastfeeding are already well known, but we observed that the longer the breastfeeding duration was the more likely the woman has osteoarthritis.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health