Roundup: Women in 30s Having More Babies Than in Younger Years; Healthy Diet With Nuts Good for Colon Cancer Patients, Studies Say

For the first time in the U.S., women in their 30s are having more babies than younger mothers. For the last 30 years, women in their late 20s had the highest birth rates, but that changed last year, according to preliminary data released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2016, the birth rate for women ages 30 to 34 was about 103 per 100,000; the rate for women ages 25 to 29 was 102 per 100,000. The CDC did not release the actual numbers of deliveries for each age group.

Health experts credit an increase in the number of women waiting longer to have children and a decrease in the teen birth rate for the change.

Other findings in the CDC report that are based on a first look at birth certificates filed last year include:

  • The overall birth rate declined slightly in 2016, to 62 births per 100,000 women, ages 15 to 44.
  • The average age when women have their first child is about 28.
  • The birth rate among teenagers continued to drop last year.

According to Bill Albert, of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, more teens are growing up with fewer of their peers getting pregnant. He added that it’s more common now to see kids in elementary or high school with older parents.

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Healthy Diet With Nuts Good for Colon Cancer Patients, Studies Say

A healthy diet that includes nuts, combined with regular exercise, could improve the chance of survival for colon cancer patients, two new studies report.

One study looked at patients successfully treated for “stage 3” colon cancer over a seven-year period. Those who ate at least 2 ounces of nuts a week had a 42 percent lower chance of their cancer returning, and a 57 percent lower risk of dying from the disease. In a “stage 3” diagnosis, the cancer may have spread to surrounding tissues, but not to distant organs.

The second study found that colon cancer survivors with the highest “healthy lifestyle scores,” which measure a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, had a 42 percent lower risk of death than those with the lowest scores. Nuts are generally recommended as part of an overall healthy diet, although nut consumption was not measured in the second study.

Both studies are scheduled to be presented next month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), in Chicago.

The nut study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and it covered more than 800 patients who had surgery and chemotherapy for their colon cancer. The benefits observed in the study were limited to tree nuts, such as Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Peanuts and peanut butter did not provide any benefit, researchers found.

“Diet and lifestyle can influence both the risk of cancer coming back and can help you live longer,” stated ASCO President-Elect Bruce Johnson, M.D., chief clinical research officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

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