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MagazineSeptember 1999 (Vol. 10 Issue 6)Shorts

* Immunized children are still contracting pertussis, or whooping cough, research from Israel has found

* Immunized children are still contracting pertussis, or whooping cough, research from Israel has found. Of 552 reported cases of pertussis, 180 occurred in people who had been vaccinated. Seventy patients were between five and 10 years of age, and the other 25 were between 11 and 30 (Chest, 1999; 115: 1254-8).

* Women who drink even moderate amounts of alcohol increase their risk of developing breast cancer. But researchers have discovered that the risk can be reduced if alcohol drinkers include folic acid in their diet. Women who drank a glass of wine a day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 45 per cent if they also consumed 600 mcg of folate a day (JAMA, 1999; 281: 1632-7).

* Women who drink a lot of coffee tend to have shorter and more frequent periods. In a study of 403 women aged between 18 and 39, those who drank more than 300 mg of coffee a day had significantly shorter periods, and shorter menstrual cycles (Am J Epidemiol, 1999; 149: 550-7).

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