May 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 1998 Current Issue
May 1998
AppleShort Cuts:

DRINKING AND CANCER. The largest study to date linking alcohol and breast cancer finds that women who consume two to five alcoholic drinks per day have a 40 percent higher risk of breast cancer than non-drinkers. The relationship holds true whether the beverage of choice is beer, wine or hard liquor, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and other medical schools in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and Sweden, who pooled data from six studies.

But alcohol has its merits, too. For instance, taking one or two alcoholic drinks a day protects against heart disease, points out Stephanie Smith-Warner, PhD, a Harvard research fellow. But other controllable factors - exercise, weight control and aspirin - also limit the risk of heart disease. The upshot: "A woman will want to consult with her physician concerning her breast cancer profile and cardiovascular risk factors to decide whether modest alcohol consumption is advisable," says Smith-Warner.

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