Abnormal breast lumps may result from popular hormone therapy! – Issue 55

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Even in tight economic times—you’d probably agree that having great health is worth more than all the money in the world. Well, that’s exactly what I want you to experience EVERY day!

This is why you can count on Health Resources™ to deliver breakthrough health news to you and your family. For example…

Today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™ includes a warning about the possible link between estrogen therapy and breast tumors. If you are currently taking this treatment, or considering it—find out about your odds of experiencing this problem.

You’ll also discover a delicious and healthy snack that helps boost your heart health. Plus, you’ll read breaking news about an ongoing FDA investigation of drugs that may attack your brain!

There’s no time like the present to put these healing tips to use. So let’s get going!

Estrogen Therapy May Increase
Benign Breast Lump Risk!

Layne Lowery

Women using estrogen-only hormone therapy double their chances of developing non-cancerous breast lumps. But new research raises concerns about a particular type of lump—called benign proliferative breast disease.

About one in five women undergo a breast biopsy within a decade of starting annual mammograms. Most abnormal lumps turn out to be benign.

But a microscopic view of the lumps reveals there are different types. Some are simple fluid-filled cysts—while others are made of growing cells. This type falls into the category of benign proliferative breast disease.

The latest work, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reexamines data from the landmark Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). This study found a variety of health risks linked to long-term hormone therapy.

Estrogen-only therapy is reserved for women who have undergone hysterectomies. The WHI originally included more than 10,000 of those women, who were given either estrogen or a placebo. The study tracked the participants for about seven years.

The new research was spearheaded by Dr. Tom Rohan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Rohan’s team reviewed breast biopsies done on those women—and identified 232 cases of benign proliferative breast disease.

The researchers found that women given the estrogen-only therapy had twice the risk of developing these abnormalities compared with women who received a placebo.

Rohan said continued tracking of WHI participants will help scientists determine if the benign breast lumps signal future problems.

An Apple a Day May Keep Heart Disease at Bay!

Tiffany Lowery

Adults who eat apples had a 27 percent decreased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome, a U.S. study found.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more symptoms related to cardiovascular risk and can include elevated blood pressure, increased waist size, and elevated C-reactive protein levels. These symptoms help determine your risk for developing heart disease and diabetes.

Dr. Victor Fulgoni analyzed data about adult food consumption from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This is the government’s largest food consumption and health database.

Fulgoni found that adults who eat apples or applesauce, or drink apple juice, have a significantly reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. And, according to a United Press International (UPI) report, Fulgoni said eating apples and apple products helped keep waistlines trim and blood pressure lowered.

The research also showed those who ate apple products decreased their chance for elevated diastolic blood pressure by 30 percent and had a 36 percent decreased likelihood for elevated systolic blood pressure. They also had a 21 percent reduced risk of increased waist circumference.

What’s more, adults who consumed apple products had significantly less C-reactive protein levels—a sign of inflammation used to detect increased risk for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers presented the study findings at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego, California.

Fast Fact

Knowing proper measurement dosages for medications and supplements is critical. For example, you should know that “IU” stands for International Unit—a measure of potency—not weight or volume. The symbol for microgram is mcg, which is equal to 1/1000 of a milligram. The symbol for milligram is mg, which is equal 1/1000 of a gram. The symbol for gram is shown as g.

It can’t hurt to double check that you’re taking the correct dosages for all your current medications!

FDA Probes Link Between
Transplant Drugs and Brain Disease

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating whether organ transplant drugs made by Roche and Novartis increase a patient’s risk of contracting a fatal neurological disease.

The agency received reports in November 2007 from Swiss drug maker Roche about incidents of the disease in patients taking its drug CellCept®. Doctors prescribe this drug to avoid rejection in organ transplant patients.

The FDA said it is examining similar risks with Swiss manufacturer Novartis’ drug Myfortic®. This drug is used to prevent kidney transplant rejection.

Roche submitted new labeling instructions to the FDA for CellCept® in November 2007. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, the agency is still reviewing the reports and considering new labeling for the drug.

Until changes are made, FDA officials advise doctors and patients to watch for symptoms of neurological problems.

The often fatal disease—known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy—attacks the brain and central nervous system. Symptoms include vision problems… loss of coordination… and memory loss. The FDA said patients who survive are often permanently disabled.

The FDA said they have confirmed 16 cases of the disease in CellCept® patients, while Roche has independently confirmed 10 cases. Since its approval in the U.S. in 1995, the drug has been used by more than 500,000 patients.

Foreign regulators have already added language about the disease risk to the labels for drugs distributed in Europe. In February, Roche sent a letter to European doctors, highlighting problems reported in kidney, heart and lung transplant patients.

The disorder was also seen in patients taking the drug for a form of lupus. Neither U.S. nor foreign regulators have approved the drug for this use.

Health E-Hints

Trouble Sleeping? Try Some Tranquil Melodies!

Do you find yourself counting sheep to try and get to sleep? Well, your restless nights could easily be a distant memory—with the right choice of music!

Gail C. Mornhinweg, PhD, ARNP, a professor of nursing at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, conducted a six-month study of 25 adults with insomnia. Patients who had trouble sleeping received recordings of either Baroque music or New Age music.

When participants listened to the music at bedtime—all but one said they fell asleep faster and slept longer than usual. The patients also said sleeplessness returned when they didn’t listen to the music.

So toss the sleeping pills—and buy some soothing sleep tunes instead!