Subscribe to IFRL

Contact the Media

GoodSearch cause banner

Option Line - 24 hour Pregnancy Hotline

Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

The study, which was funded by Lund University, The Craaford Foundation and the Swedish Rheumatism Association, wanted to determine whether breast-feeding or the use of oral contraceptives (OC) could affect the future risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a community-based prospective cohort.


Researcher Dr. Mitra Pikwer found that breastfeeding for more than a year reduced women's risk of rheumatoid arthritis 54% and breastfeeding for at least a month tended to reduce the risk 26 percent.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Want to Avoid Arthritis? Breastfeed, Have More Children and Don’t Take the Pill


New research at Malmö University Hospital has revealed that mothers who have more children and especially those who breastfeed their babies have a significantly lowered risk of arthritis later in life. Use of oral contraceptives, on the other hand, is of no benefit.

Moreover, women who gave birth to more children tended to be at lower RA risk, with a 13% reduction for each child they had.

Female hormones are thought to play a role in rheumatoid arthritis because the incidence is twice as high for women than men, the researchers said.


While arthritis often improves during pregnancy, there was no evidence of benefits in RA from the use of oral contraceptives, which contain some of the same hormones that are elevated during pregnancy.


From a community based health survey of 18, 326 women, the analysis included 136 women with incident rheumatoid arthritis who were matched by age to 544 women (controls) in the study who did not have rheumatoid arthritis.


Women who had breastfed their children for 13 months or more had an odds ratio of 0.46 for incident RA and those who breastfed for one to 12 months had an odds ratio of 0.74 compared with those who had never breastfed.


Click here to see an abstract of the research


Contact: Thaddeus M. Baklinski


Source URL:

The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Medical Research at

Malmö University Hospital