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October 20, 1989

Cholesterol Levels and the Breast-feeding Mom

Author Affiliations

The University of Connecticut Storrs

The University of Connecticut Storrs

JAMA. 1989;262(15):2092-2093. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430150052022

To the Editor.—  Additional data are available to help answer a question asked recently in JAMA1: Are serum cholesterol levels elevated in lactating women? Mellies et al2 found mean ± SD levels of plasma cholesterol of 5.6 ± 0.42 mmol/L in 11 women who were breast-feeding 1 month post partum. The quantity had decreased to 4.8 ± 0.27 mmol/L in 6 women who were still breast-feeding after 7 months. There was no correlation between blood and milk cholesterol contents.We obtained the following data in a study on the composition of milks from insulin-dependent diabetic and control mothers in which serum cholesterol levels at 3, 14, and 42 days post partum were measured.3 At day 3 post partum, the least-squares mean ± SEM serum cholesterol content of the control women was 5.25 ± 0.12 mmol/L (n = 72); day 14, 5.71 ± 0.13 mmol/L (n = 65); and day