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Birth control pills may raise breast cancer risk

Raghu Kshitiz



KATHMANDU — Women who rely on contraceptives pills, including newer types of birth control pills, as well as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants — may slightly increase women’s risk of breast cancer, according to a new study from Denmark.

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine takes a look at the lower dose contraceptives, and finds some good, and not-so-good news.

The study, which included about 1.8 million women aged between 15 and 49 years of age for more than 10 yearsin Denmark, found that those who used hormonal birth control methods were 20 percent more likely to develop breast cancer over an 11-year period, compared with those who never used hormonal birth control.

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Many women have believed that newer hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark said the risk of breast cancer was higher among women who recently used contemporary hormonal contraceptives than among women who had never used hormonal contraceptives. However, absolute increases in risk were small.

After discontinuation of hormonal contraception, the risk of breast cancer was still higher among the women who had used hormonal contraceptives for five years or more than among women who had not used hormonal contraceptives.

Women who currently or recently used the progestin-only intrauterine system also had a higher risk of breast cancer than women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.

The overall absolute increase in breast cancers diagnosed among current and recent users of any hormonal contraceptive was 13 per 100,000 persons, or about one extra breast cancer for every 7,690 women using hormonal contraception for one year.

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E-cigarettes may lead to accumulation of fat in the liver

Gorkha Post



WASHINGTON — Using e-cigarettes may lead to an accumulation of fat in the liver, a study of mice exposed to the devices suggests.

The research was presented Sunday, March 18, at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

“The popularity of electronic cigarettes has been rapidly increasing in part because of advertisements that they are safer than conventional cigarettes. But because extra fat in the liver is likely to be detrimental to health, we conclude that e-cigarettes are not as safe as they have been promoted to consumers,” said lead author Theodore C. Friedman of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, Calif. “This has important public health and regulatory implications.”

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which Dr Friedman and other researchers have reported is associated with non-alcohol fatty liver diseases. However, the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on liver disease, diabetes, heart disease or stroke are unknown.

In the 12-week study, Friedman and colleagues studied mice missing the gene for apolipoprotein E, which makes them more prone to developing heart disease and fat in the liver. All of the mice were fed a diet relatively high in fat and cholesterol.

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One group of mice was put in a chamber that exposed them to e-cigarette aerosol, so that their blood nicotine levels were similar to that of smokers and e-cigarette users. A second group of mice were exposed to saline aerosol.

The researchers collected liver samples, and looked at genes in the liver affected by e-cigarettes using a technique called RNA sequence analysis. They found changes in 433 genes that were associated with fatty liver development and progression in the mice exposed to e-cigarettes.

The researchers also found that genes related to circadian rhythms (the body clock) were changed in mice exposed to e-cigarettes. Circadian rhythm dysfunction is known to accelerate the development of liver disease including fatty liver diseases.

“Our experimental results will provide support to policymakers and federal and state regulatory bodies to take preventive measures to stop the increasing use of e-cigarettes among both children and adults,” Friedman said.

With Agency Inputs

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