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Jul 21, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- HIGH FAT DIETS INCREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

Diets rich in saturated fat, found in foods such as high-fat milk and butter, could put women at a higher risk of breast cancer, a new study has revealed. Women participating in the research who consumed the most fat -- the top 20 percent -- had twice the breast cancer risk as those whose diets were low in fat -- in the lowest 20th percentile. The link might have been masked in previous studies by imprecise ways of logging what exactly women were eating, according to articles in the Britsh journal The Lancet. Researchers from the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, England, and Cambridge University looked at the relationship between fat intake and breast cancer risk, comparing two methods of diet diaries. When subjects used the food questionnaire commonly used in previous studies, there was no link found between fat and breast cancer risk. When they used a seven-day food diary, however, they found a link.


A sports medicine expert warns drinking too much water or sports drinks before, during or after exercising is unnecessary and can be fatal. The British Medical Journal article, by Timothy Noakes of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, follows reports of several deaths from a severe lack of salt in the blood due to excessive drinking. In fact, Noakes wrote, until the late 1960s, athletes were advised not to drink during exercise, the opposite of what many are told today. In 1969, however, an article was incorrectly titled, "The danger of an inadequate water intake during marathon running," and served as an impetus for change. Guidelines for drinking fluids during exercise were created but were not based on research. Noakes said in his article drinking according to thirst, typically between 13.5 and 27 ounces per hour during exercise, seems to be safe and effective and is now the guideline recommended by U.S.A. Track and Field.


Researchers have found aspirin can reduce the risk of wound infection by lowering the numbers of invading, harmful bacteria. A study led by Dartmouth Medical School looked at the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and its role in infections. It showed salicylic acid, produced when aspirin is broken down, hurt the bacteria's ability to stick around. The aspirin byproduct also limited the bacteria's ability to make toxins, which it needs to reproduce and spread. The study's results also point to potential new ways to battle sepsis, a blood poisoning disease that affects 750,000 people in the United States every year. S. aureus causes the disease and is becoming resistant to antibiotics. Researchers said they plan to test an aspirin-antibiotic therapy. Their findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Drivers who wait three months after a seizure to get behind the wheel have no more seizure-related accidents than those who wait a year. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., based their conclusion on accident data collected before and after Arizona reduced its "seizure-free interval" rule from 12 months to three. Seizure-related crashes increased by 11 while deaths due to such accidents decreased. "Our study suggests that reducing the seizure-free interval from 12 to three months did not produce a significant increase in total crashes, crashes per mile driven and crashes per estimated driver with epilepsy," said Dr. Joseph Drazkowski, the study's lead author. However, the researchers said little other data exist in this area, and the results should prompt further studies. Across the United States, the seizure-free interval ranges from three to 18 months.

(Editors: For more information on FAT, contact the MRC Press Office in the U.K. at +44-20-7637-6011 or For FLUIDS, Emma Dickinson in the U.K. at +44-20-7383-6529. For ASPIRIN, Andy Nordhoff at 603-650-1492 or For DRIVING, John Murphy at 507-284-5005 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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