December 20, 1995
Web posted at: 7:41 a.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Breast cancer rates are higher in the northeastern part of the country and are lowest in the South. A new study by the National Cancer Institute says this regional variation in U.S. cancer rates derives from known risk factors, not from mysterious environmental hazards.
Researchers in the study, published in the Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, using 1987 data, found that most of the differences stem from such known risk or prognostic factors as family history, age at first childbirth ,and scheduled mammograms. For example, women in the Northeast tend to have their first child later than women in the South.
Although the study does not rule out dietary factors in the regions, it strongly suggests that there are no unknown causes in the variations.
Researchers say that the findings should alleviate fears that unknown environmental hazards are the causes of breast cancer in the Northeast.
BALTIMORE, Maryland (CNN) -- A study by the Johns Hopkins University says that cutting back on caffeine may help women get pregnant.
The study found that women who consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day reduce their monthly chance of conception by 26 percent. There was no effect in women who consumed less than 300 milligrams.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that a couples already have a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. High doses of caffeine reduces that percentage by nearly 15 percent.
The study, published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, used data from interviews with 1,430 women conducted in 1989 and 1990. It involved 2,000 pregnancies that occurred between 1980 and 1990.
Of the women who neither smoked nor consumed large amounts of caffeine, about 8 percent took a year or more to conceive. Of the women who consumed more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day, 19 percent took that amount of time to conceive.
Smokers, regardless of their caffeine intake, were found to be 15 to 20 percent less likely to become pregnant in a given month than nonsmokers.
Copyright © 1995 Cable News Network, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.