MALMO, Sweden (UPI) -- Swedish researchers found women who breast
than 13 months were half as likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.
Those who had breast fed for one to 12 months were 25 percent less
get the disease.
The study, published online ahead of print in the Annals of the
Diseases, also found taking oral contraceptives -- suspected to
against the disease because they contain hormones that are raised in
pregnancy -- did not have the same effect. Similarly, being pregnant -
not breast feeding -- did not seem to have a protective effect
The authors said that it was difficult to say whether there was a
between higher rates of breast feeding and a corresponding fall in the
number of women affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but that the
the study provided yet another reason why women should breast feed.