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Low-fat diet may improve breast cancer survival

Gorkha Post

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Breast cancer patients who adopted a low-fat diet were more likely to survive for at least a decade after diagnosis, compared to patients who ate fattier fare,suggests a new research.

If the cancer is found only in the breast and has not spread to other parts of the body, 99 percent of the people who receive such a diagnosis go on to live cancer-free lives for a minimum of 5 years, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

Overall, survival for women who stuck with the low-fat regimen was 22 percent higher compared to women who continued with their usual diet, the researchers noted.

The study has “found yet another health benefit to eating a low-fat diet, and more fruits and vegetables,” said lead researcher Dr Rowan Chlebowski, a research professor at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, Calif.

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“Our study demonstrates that postmenopausal women on a low-fat diet who were diagnosed with breast cancer lived longer,” said Chlebowski, who works at the hospital’s department of medical oncology and therapeutics research.

As his team noted, data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study had already found that women who ate a low-fat diet were at lower odds of developing more aggressive forms of breast cancer.

For the study, Chlebowski’s group looked at WHI data on nearly 49,000 postmenopausal women tracked by 40 clinical centers across the United States.

The women were randomly selected to stick with their regular diet (a third or more of daily energy supplied by fat) or to adopt a regimen with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, where less than 20 percent of daily energy needs came from fat.

Over the 8.5 years of the diet study, 1,764 of the women developed breast cancer. Outcomes for these women were tracked for an average of 11.5 years after their diagnosis.

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Looking at death from breast cancer specifically, of the 516 women who died from any cause, 68 in the low-fat diet group died of breast cancer, compared to 120 in the regular-diet group, the researchers said.

Women who ate less dietary fat were also less likely to have died of other causes, especially heart disease. While 64 women who ate fattier diets died of heart disease over the study period, that number fell to just 27 for women in the low-fat diet group, the findings showed.

The take-home message, according to Chlebowski: “Following a low-fat diet — at any point in your life — can have tremendous health benefits.”

With Agency Inputs

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Type 2 diabetics can reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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With proper treatment and not smoking, individuals with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study in Sweden.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes have 10 times the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and five times the risk for premature death compared with the control group.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden said that the increased risks could be theoretically eliminated.

“The study shows that patients with type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke. This is definitely good news,” author Aidin Rawshani, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a press release.

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For the study, researchers analyzed data on 271,174 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998-2014 and matched with 1.35 million controls on the basis of age, sex and county. In a median followup of 5.7 years, there were 175,345 deaths.

Risk factors that can be controlled by medication, and cigarette abstinence, are blood pressure, long-term blood glucose, lipid status, renal function and smoking, according to the researchers.

Smoking was the most important risk factor for premature death and an elevated blood glucose level was the most dangerous factor for heart attack and stroke.

“By optimizing these five risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way,” Rawshani said adding, “We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated.”

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In some cases, patients with type 2 diabetes have no more than a 10 percent elevated risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. The risk for heart failure is 45 percent higher among those with type 2 diabetes in those instances.

In addition, the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years.

“This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with type 2 diabetes.” Rawshani added.

With Agency Inputs

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