I received a very worrying newspaper cutting through the post this weekend. (Yes, I know people who still communicate by ‘real’ mail and take the trouble to clip and send on articles of interest.) It came from the UK Metro, and the headline read Take the Pill ‘for a long life’. What was particularly disturbing was the following phrase that also appears on the web version of the story:
Women who take the contraceptive are 12 per cent less likely to die compared with those who never have.
The same story on the IBTHealth site says:
The study published in the British Medical Journal says that women who have been on the pill are less likely to die from any cause […] compared with those who have never been on it.
The Yahoo News report seems a little more circumspect, claiming no more than that “[…] the pill does not raise the risk of dying”.
Even that is strange, though. I honestly believed that the risk of dying was 100% for everyone.
True, since we all only die once, smoking actually reduces your chances of dying in a car crash, and participating in dangerous sports reduces your chances of lung cancer, but surely the risk of dying remains 100%?
In case the Pill scare story is true – and I do think the threat of living for ever is scary – I was pleased to find some reassuing health news on IBTHealth. The headline Wine may help women keep weight in check is followed by a report of a study of “trim middle-aged and older women”. Apparently:
Over time, women who drank alcohol in moderation put on less weight and were less apt to become overweight compared to non-drinkers.
They actually claim “red wine seemed best at keeping weight in check”, so even if I live for ever, I may not end up obese. Which has to be good news.