Message #264:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Breast-Fed Pima Indians Less Prone To Diabetes
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:01:35 -0700



[ Message 15 
see this also! -- SASIG Ed. ]

Breast-fed Pima Indians less prone to diabetes

LONDON (Reuter) - U.S. researchers said Friday they had made further
connections between bottle-feeding babies and diabetes.            
Their study in the Lancet medical journal indicated that mothers who
breast-feed babies early in life could protect them from
non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), the most common form of the
disease. David Pettit of the National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Disease in Phoenix and colleagues studied 720 Pima
Indians, who are prone to obesity and related problems such as diabetes.
The 325 who had been exclusively bottle-fed weighed "significantly" more
than those who had been breastfed. "People who were exclusively
breast-fed had significantly lower rates of NIDDM than those who were
exclusively bottle-fed in all age groups. Pettit's group noted that some
studies have linked exposure to cow's milk in infancy to a tendency to
diabetes. Bottle-fed babies also tend to be overweight -- and obesity is
a strong risk factor for diabetes. "Exclusive breast-feeding for the
first two months of life is associated with a significantly lower rate
of NIDDM in Pima Indians," Pettitt's group concluded. "The increase in
prevalence of diabetes in some populations may be due to the concomitant
decrease in breast-feeding." But David Simmons of Middlemore Hospital in
Auckland, New Zealand said the study did not necessarily show that
bottle-feeding somehow caused diabetes. "Although breast-feeding is now
almost universally accepted as the ideal means of infant nutrition, one
thing that has become clear is that those who choose to breast-feed are
different from those choosing to bottle-feed," he wrote in a commentary
on the study. Simmons noted that other studies had shown more affluent
women were more likely to breast-feed. "In this cohort, those who wholly
breast-fed were initially less likely to be 100 percent Pima and more 
likely to be from the less acculturated Tohono O'odham tribe, who have
a lower prevalence of diabetes than the Pima," he added. "The prevalence of
NIDDM in young, relatively normal weight, breast-fed Pimas was still at
least 10 to 20 fold that expected among similarly aged and sized
Europeans." More study was needed, he concluded.