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Rollins N.C.,Newborn | Bhandari N.,Center for Health Research and Development | Hajeebhoy N.,FHI 360 | Horton S.,University of Waterloo | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2016

Despite its established benefits, breastfeeding is no longer a norm in many communities. Multifactorial determinants of breastfeeding need supportive measures at many levels, from legal and policy directives to social attitudes and values, women's work and employment conditions, and health-care services to enable women to breastfeed. When relevant interventions are delivered adequately, breastfeeding practices are responsive and can improve rapidly. The best outcomes are achieved when interventions are implemented concurrently through several channels. The marketing of breastmilk substitutes negatively affects breastfeeding: global sales in 2014 of US$44·8 billion show the industry's large, competitive claim on infant feeding. Not breastfeeding is associated with lower intelligence and economic losses of about $302 billion annually or 0·49% of world gross national income. Breastfeeding provides short-term and long-term health and economic and environmental advantages to children, women, and society. To realise these gains, political support and financial investment are needed to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Atre S.,Center for Health Research and Development | Atre S.,Harvard University
Perspectives in Public Health | Year: 2015

India carries nearly one-fifth of the global burden of diabetes cases, the majority of which are of type 2 diabetes. Recognising the need for controlling diabetes, the Government of India has initiated a national level programme for prevention and control of diabetes along with other non-communicable diseases in 2008. Despite being piloted and implemented, there is hardly any published literature about the national level situation of diabetes and its control efforts. The present article is written with the aim to fill this gap to some extent and to provide a situational analysis of the diabetes problem in India in a holistic way, addressing policy needs for the national programme. It focuses on three main areas, namely, awareness of diabetes, costs of drugs for its treatment and healthcare-system related issues. It argues that poor coverage and weak implementation of the national level programme are major forces that push patients to seek help in the weakly regulated private sector. Approaching the private sector is likely to increase the cost of care, which in turn can lead to an increased financial burden for patients and their families due to factors such as patientsâ lack of awareness about diabetes, poor drug price regulation and prescriptions including combinations and/or patented products of medicines used for treating diabetes by the private sector. This article addresses several needs such as strengthening the national programme and increasing its reach to unreached districts, exerting drug price regulation and implementing community-based participatory programmes for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. It also underscores a need for piloting and implementing a robust national level electronic reporting system for diabetes programmes. © 2015 Royal Society for Public Health. Source


Strand T.A.,University of Bergen | Strand T.A.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Taneja S.,All India Institute of Medical Sciences | Taneja S.,Center for Health Research and Development | And 9 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2013

Background: Micronutrient deficiencies can affect cognitive function. Many young children in low- and middle-income countries have inadequate cobalamin (vitamin B-12) status. Objective: The objective was to measure the association of plasma concentrations of folate, cobalamin, total homocysteine, and methyl-malonic acid with cognitive performance at 2 occasions, 4 mo apart, in North Indian children aged 12-18 mo. Design: Bayley Scales of Infant Development II were used to assess cognition. In multiple regression models adjusted for several potential confounders, we measured the association between biomarkers for folate and cobalamin status and psychomotor or mental development scores on the day of blood sampling and 4 mo thereafter. Results: Each 2-fold increment in plasma cobalamin concentration was associated with a significant increment in the mental development index score of 1.3 (95% CI: 0.2, 2.4; P = 0.021). Furthermore, each 2-fold increment in homocysteine or methylmalonic acid concentration was associated with a decrement in mental development index score of 2.0 (95% CI: 0.5, 3.4; P = 0.007) or 1.1 (95% CI: 0.3, 1.8; P = 0.004) points, respectively. Plasma folate concentration was significantly and independently associated with mental development index scores only when children with poor cobalamin status were excluded, ie, in those who had cobalamin concentrations below the 25th percentile. None of these markers was associated with psycho-motor scores in the multiple regression models. Conclusions: Cobalamin and folate status showed a statistically significant association with cognitive performance. Given the high prevalence of deficiencies in these nutrients, folate and cobalamin supplementation trials are required to measure any beneficial effect on cognition. © 2013 American Society for Nutrition. Source


Sankar M.J.,All India Institute of Medical Sciences | Sinha B.,Center for Health Research and Development | Chowdhury R.,Center for Health Research and Development | Bhandari N.,Center for Health Research and Development | And 3 more authors.
Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics | Year: 2015

Aim To synthesise the evidence for effects of optimal breastfeeding on all-cause and infection-related mortality in infants and children aged 0-23 months. Methods We conducted a systematic review to compare the effect of predominant, partial or nonbreastfeeding versus exclusive breastfeeding on mortality rates in the first six months of life and effect of no versus any breastfeeding on mortality rates between 6 and 23 months of age. A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane CENTRAL and CABI. Results The risk of all-cause mortality was higher in predominantly (RR 1.5), partially (RR 4.8) and nonbreastfed (RR14.4) infants compared to exclusively breastfed infants 0-5 months of age. Children 6-11 and 12-23 months of age who were not breastfed had 1.8- and 2.0-fold higher risk of mortality, respectively, when compared to those who were breastfed. Risk of infection-related mortality in 0-5 months was higher in predominantly (RR 1.7), partially (RR 4.56) and nonbreastfed (RR 8.66) infants compared to exclusive breastfed infants. The risk was twofold higher in nonbreastfed children when compared to breastfed children aged 6-23 months. Conclusion The findings underscore the importance of optimal breastfeeding practices during infancy and early childhood. ©2015 The Authors. Acta Pædiatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source


Chowdhury R.,Center for Health Research and Development | Sinha B.,Center for Health Research and Development | Sankar M.J.,All India Institute of Medical Sciences | Taneja S.,Center for Health Research and Development | And 4 more authors.
Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics | Year: 2015

Aim To evaluate the effect of breastfeeding on long-term (breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus) and short-term (lactational amenorrhoea, postpartum depression, postpartum weight change) maternal health outcomes. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library and CABI databases. Outcome estimates of odds ratios or relative risks or standardised mean differences were pooled. In cases of heterogeneity, subgroup analysis and meta-regression were explored. Results Breastfeeding >12 months was associated with reduced risk of breast and ovarian carcinoma by 26% and 37%, respectively. No conclusive evidence of an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density was found. Breastfeeding was associated with 32% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding were associated with longer duration of amenorrhoea. Shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with higher risk of postpartum depression. Evidence suggesting an association of breastfeeding with postpartum weight change was lacking. Conclusion This review supports the hypothesis that breastfeeding is protective against breast and ovarian carcinoma, and exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding increase the duration of lactational amenorrhoea. There is evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density or maternal depression or postpartum weight change was not evident. ©2015 The Authors. Acta Pædiatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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