Folate and Breast Cancer Risk
The paper by Charles et al (10 December 2004) is wrong to single out for attention a marginal effect when it reports that 31 women died of breast cancer, after taking a supplement of the vitamin folic acid for a few months 38 years ago. From this study of 3,000 women, even to suggest that there is causal relationship (though they then seem to withdraw the suggestion) is a disservice to women. They are forging a tendentious connection with a genuine public health issue, whilst they must be aware that the understandable fears of women, and the guaranteed media interest, place more babies at risk of severe disability. The thirst of researchers and journals for publicity at any price should be discouraged.
Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus ASBAH House, 42,Park Road, Peterborough, PE1 2UQ, UK
Competing interests: None declared
Competing interests: No competing interests