Babies denied their mothers' milk are more likely to suffer from chronic inflammation as adults, increasing their chances of disease, disability and early death, a study has found.
Body-wide inflammation is also associated with low birth weight, the same research showed.
Chronic inflammation, caused by a hyperactive immune system, has been linked to heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, late-life disability and a greater risk of dying.
The research found that adult levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation blood marker, rose with shorter durations of breastfeeding in infancy. Almost 7,000 US men and women aged 24 to 32 took part in the study.