Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://buratest.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/9769
Title: Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK
Authors: Pokhrel, S
Quigley, MA
Fox-Rushby, J
McCormick, F
Williams, A
Trueman, P
Dodds, R
Renfrew, MJ
Keywords: Breastfeeding;Cost of illness;Formula feeding;Infants;Maternal breast cancer
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Arch Dis Child, 2014
Abstract: RATIONALE: Studies suggest that increased breastfeeding rates can provide substantial financial savings, but the scale of such savings in the UK is not known. OBJECTIVE: To calculate potential cost savings attributable to increases in breastfeeding rates from the National Health Service perspective. DESIGN AND SETTINGS: Cost savings focussed on where evidence of health benefit is strongest: reductions in gastrointestinal and lower respiratory tract infections, acute otitis media in infants, necrotising enterocolitis in preterm babies and breast cancer (BC) in women. Savings were estimated using a seven-step framework in which an incidence-based disease model determined the number of cases that could have been avoided if breastfeeding rates were increased. Point estimates of cost savings were subject to a deterministic sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: Treating the four acute diseases in children costs the UK at least £89 million annually. The 2009-2010 value of lifetime costs of treating maternal BC is estimated at £959 million. Supporting mothers who are exclusively breast feeding at 1 week to continue breast feeding until 4 months can be expected to reduce the incidence of three childhood infectious diseases and save at least £11 million annually. Doubling the proportion of mothers currently breast feeding for 7-18 months in their lifetime is likely to reduce the incidence of maternal BC and save at least £31 million at 2009-2010 value. CONCLUSIONS: The economic impact of low breastfeeding rates is substantial. Investing in services that support women who want to breast feed for longer is potentially cost saving.
Description: This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.
URI: http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2014/11/12/archdischild-2014-306701
http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/9769
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701
ISSN: 1468-2044
Appears in Collections:Brunel OA Publishing Fund
Health Economics Research Group (HERG)

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