HealthWise at 5 From 1.15 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/15/03

HealthWise at 5 From 1.15

  • New Therapy for Breast Cancer

New research is confirming evidence of the power of Tamoxifen as preventive therapy for women at high risk of Breast Cancer. The findings come from an Italian study that tested 5,400 women who had a hysterectomy. Half were on Tamoxifen, the other half had a sugar pill. Researchers initially reported no difference in Breast Cancer rates in women in the Tamoxifen and the placebo groups.

Now, after seven years of follow up, the researchers say Tamoxifen provided an 82% reduction in Breast Cancer risk for women at highest risk of the disease. It is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. This research was conducted at the European Institute of Oncology, in Milan.

  • Alcohol and Pregnancy

It seems like we have this in the news often: Warnings against drinking alcohol during pregnancy. A newly published study shows that in spite of those warnings, 15% of pregnant women are still drinking alcohol. More than a 1,000 pregnant women were surveyed on this. Ironically, only about half the women who responded to the survey said the doctor caring for them during pregnancy ever mentioned anything about alcohol. That is despite a recommendation by the American Academy of Obstetrics that all women who are pregnant be warned about the dangers of birth defects and learning disorders in children born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

The American Academy of Obstetrics and American Academy of Pediatrics advise counseling for all women who are pregnant about the dangers of drinking and total abstinence is advised. This study was done by a team from the University of Michigan.

  • Reducing Visceral Fat in Women

New research is adding to the list of benefits of regular exercise. The study found overweight, post-menopausal women who walked five days a week lost significant amounts of visceral fat. Visceral fat is fat hidden around the abdomen's internal organs. This intra-abdominal fat increases risks of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Cancer. Researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association say that even in women who didn't lost significant pounds exercise instead melted away the visceral fat around the organs.

The study involved 170 sedentary post-menopausal women. Half of them walked or cycled five days a week for 45-minutes, the other half did stretching exercises. After a year, the exercisers lost between three-point-four and six-point-nine percent of their visceral fat. The average weight loss in this group during the year was three pounds. Women in the stretching group actually showed a slight increase in visceral fat and gained an average of half a pound.

Visceral fat can exist in thin people but it is most common in overweight and obese people. This study was conducted by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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