Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK

S. Pokhrel (Lead / Corresponding author), M. A. Quigley, J. Fox-Rushby, F. McCormick, A. Williams, P. Trueman, R. Dodds, Mary Renfrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Volume100
Issue number4
Early online date4 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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Breast Feeding
Economics
Cost Savings
Mothers
Breast Neoplasms
Costs and Cost Analysis
Incidence
Necrotizing Enterocolitis
National Health Programs
Otitis Media
Acute Disease
Insurance Benefits
Respiratory Tract Infections
Communicable Diseases
Breast

Cite this

Pokhrel, S., Quigley, M. A., Fox-Rushby, J., McCormick, F., Williams, A., Trueman, P., ... Renfrew, M. (2015). Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 100(4), 334-340. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701
Pokhrel, S. ; Quigley, M. A. ; Fox-Rushby, J. ; McCormick, F. ; Williams, A. ; Trueman, P. ; Dodds, R. ; Renfrew, Mary. / Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. In: Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2015 ; Vol. 100, No. 4. pp. 334-340.
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Pokhrel, S, Quigley, MA, Fox-Rushby, J, McCormick, F, Williams, A, Trueman, P, Dodds, R & Renfrew, M 2015, 'Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK', Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 100, no. 4, pp. 334-340. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701

Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. / Pokhrel, S. (Lead / Corresponding author); Quigley, M. A.; Fox-Rushby, J.; McCormick, F.; Williams, A.; Trueman, P.; Dodds, R.; Renfrew, Mary.

In: Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol. 100, No. 4, 04.2015, p. 334-340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Quigley, M. A.

AU - Fox-Rushby, J.

AU - McCormick, F.

AU - Williams, A.

AU - Trueman, P.

AU - Dodds, R.

AU - Renfrew, Mary

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PY - 2015/4

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N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

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DO - 10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701

M3 - Article

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VL - 100

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JO - Archives of Disease in Childhood

JF - Archives of Disease in Childhood

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Pokhrel S, Quigley MA, Fox-Rushby J, McCormick F, Williams A, Trueman P et al. Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2015 Apr;100(4):334-340. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701