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Research

Does pregnancy hormone reduce breast cancer risk?

Research indicates that might be the case.

A study conducted by the German Cancer Research Center indicates that on average, women who have given birth at least once are 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. And the risk falls more with each subsequent pregnancy.

Researchers think that human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced in pregnancy, may play a role.

The study was reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. An abstract is available online as is a MedWire story.


No help for prostate health from supplements

A study of nutritional supplements and the risk for prostate cancer has been cancelled. Researchers concluded that the treatments may be more harmful than helpful.

The study is called SELECT, for Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial. The study was investigating the impact of selenium and vitamin E supplements on prostate health.

After seven years of the study, the National Cancer Institute stopped it in October when a review of the data showed that those study participants using vitamin E had a slightly higher risk for prostate cancer, and those using selenium only had a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes.

For more information, see the institute’s SELECT Q and A online.


Trans fats linked to miscarriage risk

Trans fatty acids, already blamed for contributing to cardiovascular disease, now has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage.

A team of researchers from Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, found that women whose diets included a higher percentage of trans fats experienced a higher percentage of fetal loss.

Earlier studies have tied trans fats to increased insulin resistance. This increases the activity of plasminogen activator inhibitor, which has been associated with miscarriages. Read more about the study.


Healthy living cuts middle-age deaths in half

More than half the deaths of middle-aged women can be prevented by following the basic good-health practices: not smoking, staying at a health weight, exercising 30 minutes a day and eating right.

That's the latest conclusion to emerge from the 24-year-long Nurses Health Study. As might be expected, the biggest avoidable killer is smoking, cited in 28 percent of the 8,882 deaths during the study.

The study also concurred with other research that shows that women who drink alcohol in moderation—up to one drink per day—are less likely to die from heart disease or stroke than women who don't drink at all.

For more results, see the September issue of the British Medical Journal.


Evidence suggests heart disease, diabetes linked to BPA

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical common in American food containers, has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities in adults. BPA is used in plastic food containers, sports-drink bottles, baby bottles and the lining of aluminum cans. Traces have also been found in drinking water and dental sealants.

The study was conducted by the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, and based on data collected from US residents in a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. The BPA data came from the 2003-04 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who had higher concentrations of BPA concentrations in their urine had a greater incidence of the diseases.

So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't taken action against BPA in food products, citing a lack of studies directly linking disease to food container sources of BPA. The study's principal researcher also cautioned that the findings need to be duplicated before a firm conclusion can be drawn.

For information on the study, see the Journal of the American Medical Association. For information on the FDA's current position on BPA, visit the FDA web site.

The winter 2008 issue of CareLink, CareOregon's member newsletter, gives advice on how to avoid BPA in food container sources.

 

 


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