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Housework wards off breast cancer
11-08-2009, 06:40 AM
Post: #1
Housework wards off breast cancer
Women who keep their homes clean and tidy are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who let the dust and dishes pile up, according to a new report.

Researchers found regular moderate exercise such as housework provides greater protection from the disease than more strenuous but less frequent sporting activity.

Around 44,100 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year and more than 12,400 women die from the disease. Physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight have also been found to reduce the risk of some cancers in men.

Previous studies have identified a link between exercise and reduced breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women, but this is one of the first to include a large number of pre-menopausal women.

The researchers analysed data on work, leisure and housework activity levels among 218,169 women aged 20 to 80 from nine European countries including the UK.

They followed the women for an average of 6.4 years, during which time 3,423 developed breast cancers. When all forms of activity were combined, being active appeared to offer a protective effect only to post-menopausal women.

However when the results were examined in more detail it was found that women who did the most housework had significantly reduced risks while work- and recreation-based activity had less effect.

On average, the pre-menopausal participants spent 17.7 hours a week doing housework while the post-menopausal women spent 16.1 hours a week on it.

Writing in the January edition of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Dr Petra Lahmann of the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge, said: “Increased non-occupational physical activity and, in particular, increased household activity, were significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk, independent of other potential risk factors.

“Our results . . . provide additional evidence that moderate forms of physical activity, such as household activity, may be more important than less frequent but more intense recreational physical activity in reducing breast cancer risk.”

Living near busy street ups breathing problems: The closer people live to a main road, the more likely they are to suffer from respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness and wheezing, a new study from Switzerland shows.

“These findings from a general population provide strong confirmation that living near busy streets leads to adverse respiratory health effects,” Dr. Lucy Bayer-Oglesby, of the University of Basel, and colleagues write in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

While outdoor air pollution — especially tiny particles that can be breathed deep into the lungs—is known to be hazardous to people’s health, to date no researchers have looked at how proximity to main roads affects respiratory symptoms in a general population, Bayer-Oglesby and her team note.

To investigate, they looked at data from a two-part study of air pollution and lung disease. It involved 9,651 randomly selected men and women aged 18 to 60 who enrolled in the study in 1991, 8,047 of whom re-enrolled for the second phase of the study in 2002.

People’s risk of having attacks of breathlessness increased by 13% for every 500-meter segments of main street located within 200 meters of their home. The risk of such attacks among people who had never smoked fell by 12% for each additional 100 meters between their homes and a main street.

Individuals whose homes were within 20 meters of a busy road were 15% more likely to regularly have phlegm in their breathing passages, while they were 34% more likely to have wheezing with breathing problems.

The effects of traffic on respiratory health were stronger for men and for people who had never smoked.

The effects of living near main streets were weaker in 2002 than in 1991, which may have been due to stricter requirements on auto emissions, the researchers note.

“Living close to main streets or in a dense street network increases the risks for certain respiratory symptoms in adults, particularly for asthma-related symptoms such as attacks of breathlessness and wheezing and for bronchitic symptoms such as regular cough and phlegm,” they conclude.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=207334
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