Electric blankets 'lift womb cancer risk'

WOMEN who regularly use electric blankets to keep warm at night could be more at risk of cancer of the womb, a study has revealed.

Those asked if they had ever used an electric blanket were 15 per cent more likely to develop womb cancer than those who had never used them. But among women who had regularly used the heating devices for 20 years or more, the risks increased by 36 per cent.

Scientists believe the blankets may expose women to low levels of electromagnetic radiation - something which has already been linked to mobile phones, microwaves and other household appliances.

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Scientists at Wayne State University in Michigan came up with the latest findings after analysing data on more than 90,000 women.

The results, published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, showed that about 1,500 of them had developed a tumour of the womb.

Once they had allowed for other risk factors for the disease, such as heavy drinking, being overweight and not having any children, the researchers found a significant link with electric blanket use.

Cancer Research UK said the latest findings should be treated with caution.