Breast cancer: New research has found that the hormone-heavy contraceptive pills used 25 years ago may have significantly increased breast cancer risk among women with a family history of the disease. In a study of more than 425 families, researchers in the Mayo Clinic in the US found that oral contraceptive use tripled breast cancer risk among women with sisters and mothers who had the disease. The risk was confined to pill-users prior to 1975. Since then, birth control pills have evolved to include lower doses of oestrogen and progestogen which are safer in terms of breast cancer (Reuters Health).
Depression: Patients who suffer from depression are more likely to fall ill with heart disease, according to a six-year British study. The research teams which surveyed 4,500 elderly people found that those suffering from depression were 40 per cent more likely to develop heart disease. This is the strongest evidence yet to suggest that psychological as well as physical factors can influence coronary heart disease. (BBC Health News).
Name change: Enable Ireland is the new name for Cerebral Palsy Ireland. Its school and clinic in Sandymount, Dublin helps people with other physical disabilities, including spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, hydrocephalus and other developmental delays. The organisation's aim is to "enable" those who use the services to achieve as much independence and inclusion in community life as possible. Contact Enable Ireland on Tel: 01-8727109
Art of health: Seeking creative and emotional release through art is a growth area for those suffering from mental health problems. The latest initiative to support this form of therapy comes from Lundbeck Ireland, an international pharmaceutical company. Having received art works from 55 psychiatric day centres and support hostels throughout the country, the first Dublin Regional Lundbeck Art Exhibition opens tomorrow for a week-long run at the Dublin Writers' Museum, 18 Parnell Square, Dublin. The aim of the initiative is to enhance the public's understanding of psychiatric illness as well as providing a salesroom for the work. Tel: 012899222