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Health News: Hepatitis C Rates in Pregnancy; Wine and Breast Cancer; Foods and Depression; Breast Cancer Rates in Asian American Women...

written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Friday, 26th May ,2017

Hepatitis C (HCV) On the Rise in Pregnant Women

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed a doubling between 2009 to 2014 of hepatitis C (HCV) infections in pregnant women.  Increased incidences were found especially in W. Virginia and Tennessee where there’s a high risk for opioid addiction.  The HCV rate nationwide was found to be 3.5 per 1,000 pregnant women in 2014. 

Dr. Carolyn Wester, medical director for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and viral hepatitis at the Tennessee Department of Health, recommended that pregnant women should have access to HCV screening and treatment.


One Alcohol Drink a Day can Increase Risk of Breast Cancer 

The American Institute for Cancer Research (ACIR) and the World Cancer Research Fund reported an increase risk of breast cancer in those who drank as little as one glass of wine or beer per day.  The researchers found how a small glass of wine or beer increased breast cancer risk 5% in premenopausal and 9% in postmenopausal women. 

On the other hand, other researchers have found that a glass of wine a day might be cardiac protective, so you will have to decide between your heart or your breasts! Living a balanced life is important! If you have a higher risk of breast cancer, however, such as having a personal history of dense breasts or breast biopsies, or family members with breast cancer, then be cautious of drinking too much alcohol.


 Foods and Depression

A meta-analysis study from Linyi Hospital, Shandong, China, analyzing data from 21 studies, showed how certain foods may lower the risk of depression.  The result of this study was published in Psychiatry Research. The researchers found that a large intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy, and a low intake of animal products are associated with a lower risk of depression. 

An intake of red or processed meats, sweets, refined grains, butter, high-fat dairy products, high fat gravy and few fruits and vegetables seems to be associated with a higher risk of depression.  Although more studies are needed to confirm the effect of foods on depression, healthy eating may lower the risk of depression.


Breast Cancer Rates increase in Asian American Women 

Researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California reported in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment an overall increased rate of breast cancer in all seven Asian ethnic groups except for Japanese.  The seven groups included Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, South Asians (Asian Indians and Pakistanis) and Southeast Asians (Cambodians, Laotians, Hmong,Thai).  The largest increase was found in Koreans, South Asians and Southeast Asians.

The researchers found breast cancer rates in Asians were generally lower than in White women, although Japanese and Filipinos younger than 50 had similar rates to white women of the same age.  They also found a higher rate of HER2 breast cancer, the more aggressive type, in Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

The researchers recommended further studies to identify risk factors for specific breast cancer subtypes in this population.  The study author also recommended study of early life exposures and possible genetic links.






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