Learn about the risks of smoking and drinking alcohol at an early age. Find out about postmenopausal women also in this medical report.
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Dr. Susan Sharma: This is Insidermedicine in 60. From Florida - Those who smoke and drink heavily develop Alzheimer's disease at a younger age. Researchers evaluated nearly 1000 patients with Alzheimer's to determine if smoking, drinking and the presence of a variant of the APOE gene influenced the age of Alzheimer's presentation. Those who had all three risk factors developed Alzheimer's disease 8.5 years earlier than those with none. From Bethesda - In a study that followed over 180,000 postmenopausal women for an average of seven years, those who drank 1-2 small drinks per day were 32 percent more likely to develop a hormone-sensitive breast tumor. Those who drank three or more drinks had a 51% increased risk. The risk was noted regardless of whether a woman's preference was for beer, wine, or hard liquor. Finally from California - Mutations in genes that govern our ability to break down alcohol may also influence the development of breast cancer. In a study in which nearly 1,000 women with breast cancer were compared to nearly 1,700 without, those with variations in two genes that code for enzymes that metabolize alcohol had a 2-fold higher risk for breast cancer. For Insidermedicine in 60, I am Dr. Susan Sharma.

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