Scientists first to link gene to blood loss after surgery

Bleeding after cardiac surgery is a major clinical problem, consuming up to 20 percent of the nation’s blood supply. Despite some understanding of the risk factors that contribute to increased blood loss, there is still considerable patient-to-patient variability. Scientists have now shown that a common genetic variation contributes to a patient’s tendency to suffer bleeding complications.

Breast cancer risk clarified

Women diagnosed with a specific form of benign breast disease called atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, but the risk is not the same for both breasts, researchers report this week. The findings, reported in the British medical journal The Lancet, challenge the long-held belief that the risk for breast cancer in women with this diagnosis was the same in both breasts, an assumption that could be used as an argument for double mastectomy to prevent cancer. Instead, the researchers found that women with this type of abnormality were three times more likely to develop breast cancer than are women without this diagnosis, and that three-fourths of subsequent breast cancers occurred in the same breast.