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Antibiotics may raise risk of breast cancer

Long-term use of antibiotics may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a US study of more than 10,000 women.

Women who had more than 25 prescriptions for antibiotics over an average of 17 years had double the risk of breast cancer compared with women who had not taken any antibiotics.

Increasing cumulative days of antibiotic use was also linked with higher risk of dying from breast cancer even when the data was

adjusted to take into account age, length of enrolment in the study, and use of postmenopausal hormones.

The results, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 18), compared antibiotic use in 2,266 women who had developed breast cancer with 7,953 women who had not been diagnosed with the disease.

The researchers said: 'The results of this study support the continued need for prudent long-term use of antibiotics.'

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