Aspirin and breast cancer; childhood illness duration

February 16, 2010 3:29:46 PM PST
There are intriguing new studies about aspirin and breast cancer and the duration of childhood illnesses. First, is there a protective effect against breast cancer from aspirin or anti-inflammatory pain killers? One study examined that question once again.

It was a provocative study that looks at women with early breast cancer and their use or non-use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

The researchers used data from the Nurses' Health Study, which suggests that aspirin use was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of recurrence and death in women with early breast cancer.

Experts say this information is intriguing enough to conduct randomized studies, but warn against aspirin use now as it can cause internal bleeding.

Also, the Nurses' Health Study was wrong on its initial results on the effect of hormones and vitamin E on women's hearts.

Researchers who studied (three nationally representative groups of ) children across the country found that chronic illnesses like asthma, obesity or learning behavior disorders had increased since the 30 percent rate of the 1980s.

"This has increased to about 50 percent in the recent years," said Dr. Jeanne Van Cleave, of the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston.

But the study also found that half of the condition eventually resolved.

"It's also important and very helpful and very positive to know that over time a lot of these conditions will resolve," Dr. Van Cleave said.