Dehydration among lactating mothers in the Amazon: A neglected problem

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24 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare hydration status between lactating and non-lactating women in the hot-humid Amazon. Methods: Fifty-four women (15-81 years) from two villages at different distances to the market provided urine samples, anthropometric measurements, and health recalls. Urine samples were analyzed for urine specific gravity (USG). Bivariate and multiple linear and logistic regressions tested differences in USG and dehydration (USG > 1.020) between women of different lactating status. Results: Lactating women (1.024 g/ml; 78% dehydrated) had significantly higher USG levels (β = 0.004; P = 0.011) than non-lactating women (1.020 g/ml; 50% dehydrated) and were significantly more likely to be dehydrated adjusting for covariates (OR: 4.05; 95% CI 1.1-14.7). Conclusions: Women living in hot-humid rural environments with minimal access to clean water are at greater risk of dehydration when breastfeeding. Future research should examine lactating women longitudinally and assess whether chronic dehydration affects breast milk composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-578
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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