• 27Nov

    News Picture: Mom-to-Be's Smoking Tied to Poorer Fitness in Sons

    Young men may have reduced aerobic fitness if their mothers smoked during pregnancy, a new study suggests.

    “It’s well established that smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke are harmful for both mother and baby. Our study adds to the existing evidence base of the negative and longstanding impacts of maternal smoking,” said study author Maria Hagnas, of the University of Oulu, Finland.

    The research included just over 500 young men, average age 19, in Finland, whose aerobic fitness was assessed on a running test as part of the military service assessment.

    The 59 men whose mothers smoked at least one cigarette a day during pregnancy had lower aerobic fitness than those whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy, the study found.

    Having a mother with a higher body mass index (BMI — an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) before pregnancy or a mother who gained too much weight during pregnancy was also associated with worse aerobic fitness in the young men.

    And the sons’ aerobic fitness was also influenced by their own smoking habits, weight and physical activity levels, according to the study published Dec. 9 in BJOG:

  • 14Nov

    News Picture: Breast Cancer Drugs Battle Disease's Return

    A pair of drugs already on the market appear to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in women who’ve already undergone treatment, two new clinical trials show.

    The chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Afinitor) seems to reduce by nearly a third the risk of breast cancer recurrence if women receive the drug following surgery to remove their cancer, researchers were to report Wednesday at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

    In addition, an osteoporosis medication called denosumab appears to reduce recurrence risk by 18 percent in women who have HR-positive breast cancer, a second study reports.

    Denosumab (Xgeva) is usually given to women undergoing breast cancer treatment because hormone therapy for their disease can make their bones brittle, explained lead researcher Dr. Michael Gnant, a professor of surgery at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

    This new study suggests that denosumab might also hold breast cancer at bay, Gnant said.

    For the capecitabine study, Japanese researchers enrolled 910 patients who had HER2-negative breast cancer that did not fully respond to chemotherapy prior to surgery.

    Some have suspected that these patients have breast cancer that is somehow resistant to chemotherapy, and that chemo following surgery might

  • 06Jun

    Do you think that health is very important for you? Do you think that keeping the healthy body is very important for our body? Why do you think in that way? Well, we do believe that paying attention to the health is very important for all of the people. Who do not want to have the healthy body condition? Of course, everyone wants it and they will try hard to do any kinds of ways to treat our body well.

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    If you are looking for such a treatment for a certain kind of illnesses that you are suffering from and you do not really know how to treat it, taking the alternative treatment is such a good idea to choose. Remember that not all of people can

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  • 29Apr

    Generic Viagra is essentially the same thing as Viagra. Like Viagra, it has the same ingredient – sildenafil citrate. The only difference is that Viagra is the brand name of the drug, while generic Viagra is referred to as Sildenafil. Generic Viagra, like Viagra treats erectile dysfunction in men and has an excellent success rate of around 60 to 70%.

    This changed when Pfizer’s patent expired in June 2013. Since then it has become legal for other companies to develop their own versions ofsildenafil citrate and market it under several different brand names. Many of these companies use “Sildenafil” rather than “Viagra” – they both mean the same thing.

    Can Generic Viagra cure erectile dysfunction?

    One must be careful when talking about the cure for erectile dysfunction – Viagra is not a cure for sexual dysfunction in men – it is a short-term solution that helps them achieve

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  • 05Feb

    A 45-year study of nearly 7,000 people born in a single week in Great Britain in 1958 found psychological distress in childhood — even when conditions improved in adulthood — was associated with higher risk for heart disease and diabetes later in life.

    The study, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, looked at information related to stress and mental health collected about participants in the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study at ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33 and 42. Researchers also collected data for nine biological indicators at age 45 using information from blood samples and blood pressure measures to create a score indicating risk for heart disease and diabetes, known as the cardiometabolic risk score, for each.

    The study found that people with persistent distress throughout their lives had the highest cardiometabolic risk score relative to participants who reported low levels of distress throughout childhood and adulthood. Using the same comparison group, participants with high levels of distress occurring primarily in childhood, and those with high levels of distress occurring primarily in adulthood also exhibited higher cardiometabolic risk. The estimated risk for cardiometabolic disease for people with persistent distress through to middle adulthood

  • 25Jan

    Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement that links climate change with the health of children, urging pediatricians and politicians to work together to solve this crisis and protect children from climate-related threats including natural disasters, heat stress, lower air quality, increased infections, and threats to food and water supplies.

    “Every child need a safe and healthy environment and climate change is a rising public health threat to all children in this country and around the world,” said AAP President Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP. “Pediatricians have a unique and powerful voice in this conversation due to their knowledge of child health and disease and their role in ensuring the health of current and future children.”

    The policy statement, “Global Climate Change and Children’s Health,” updates a 2007 policy, and is being published in the November 2015 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 26). In the 2015 policy statement, the AAP states that:

    • There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that the broad effects known commonly as “climate change” are the result of contemporary human activities.
    • According to the World Health Organization, more than 88 percent of the existing burden of disease attributable to climate
  • 19Jan

    Health campaigns that target teens based their social groups and subcultures, such as hip hop, preppy or alternative, can be an effective tool in dissuading adolescents from engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking, suggests a survey of the literature and a case study.

    The findings will be presented at the APHA meeting in Chicago on Nov. 3.

    “In public health, we typically segment more in terms of sociodemographics like race, gender and income,” says Meghan Moran, an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society and lead author of the study. “But, we know that young people identify strongly with groups along subcultures and these groups vary on their health behavior, too. For instance, the teens we categorize as alternative, be they goth or skateboarders, are at a higher risk for alcohol use. If we develop campaigns that incorporate the style of the group, it can increase their effectiveness.”

    For their study, researchers surveyed journal articles highlighting evidence related to the use of peer crowds to develop targeted health campaigns aimed at adolescents. Such campaigns can work on several levels. One, the teens identify with the individuals and

  • 15Jan

    Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women.

    Mental health researcher Dr Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women.

    “Men can feel left out of the process, because pregnancy and childbirth are so integrally linked to the mother,” said Dr Leach, from The Australian National University (ANU) Centre for Ageing, Health and Wellbeing.

    “It can compound the problem. They don’t seek help, because they think ‘it’s not so much about me’.”

    The causes of anxiety and depression around the arrival of a new baby are poorly understood. While results from individual studies vary, some studies suggest over 20 per cent of parents suffer from anxiety or depression.

    The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

    “Having a new baby is a time of great adjustment for many parents, and it is normal to be nervous, but anxiety can become a problem when it persists for extended periods and interferes with

  • 19Nov

    A fire escape plan that describes where everyone should go and what they should do can save lives.

    The National Fire Protection Association advises:

    • Create a plan together, walking through the home and drawing pictures for younger children. Discuss all exits from the home, and make sure you mark two ways to escape each room.
    • Make sure everyone understands the plan, and can easily open all doors and windows.
    • Make sure there are smoke alarms installed outside every room where someone sleeps, and on each floor of the home.
    • Designate a safe place outside the home where everyone should go.
    • Make sure everyone knows the fire department’s emergency phone number.
    • Your house number should be clearly visible for emergency workers.
    • Make sure everyone knows to leave the home immediately, and to stay outside until it’s safe to return to the home.
    • Designate someone to help young children, infants, disabled or elderly people who need help leaving the home.
  • 04Nov

    Good news for those afraid of the dentist’s drill: New research suggests that a “no-drill” approach can halt tooth decay in many cases.

    An Australian team’s seven-year study found that the need for fillings fell 30 to 50 percent if patients used preventive care after the first sign of tooth decay.

    “It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay,” study lead author Wendell Evans, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, said in a university news release.

    The findings highlight “the need for a major shift in the way tooth decay is managed by dentists,” he believes.

    Many people believe that even the smallest sign of tooth decay warrants a filling. But Evans said that the decay does not always progress and often develops more slowly than widely believed.

    “For example, it takes an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine),” he said. “That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling.”

    The no-drill approach developed by Evans and his colleagues has four aspects: application of high-concentration fluoride varnish

  • 27Oct

    Breast cancer patients with depression may have a much higher risk of death than those without the mental illness, a new study suggests.

    “Low mood and depression are understandable reactions to a breast cancer diagnosis. Clinicians generally know to look out for this, but these findings emphasize the need to ask patients with cancer about their mood and for women to know it’s OK to ask for help,” Elizabeth Davies, of the division of health and social care research and cancer studies at King’s College London, said in a school news release.

    “It is important women feel they can talk about these feelings and do not feel guilty about difficulty coping or depression, which can be a natural response to cancer diagnosis,” she added.

    Although this study found a link between depression and breast cancer survival, it’s important to note that the research can’t prove cause-and-effect.

    For the study, researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 77,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2009. The study followed the participants’ health until the end of 2010.

    More than 420 of the women had a history of depression before learning they had breast cancer. More than 530 were diagnosed with depression after

  • 27Oct

    Women with early stage breast cancer may survive longer if they opt for the less-extensive surgery called lumpectomy, followed by radiation, rather than a mastectomy, a new study suggests.

    “I think these results offer women important information to discuss with their doctors when making a treatment decision for early stage breast cancer,” said lead researcher Sabine Seisling, of the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization, in Utrecht.

    Mastectomy removes the entire the breast, while lumpectomy involves removing only the tumor with some surrounding tissue. Some studies have suggested that women with early stage breast cancer have a better five-year survival rate after lumpectomy.

    The new study, which included 37,000 Dutch women, found that the advantage may also extend to the longer term. Of nearly 22,000 patients who underwent lumpectomy plus radiation, 77 percent were still alive 10 years later. That compared with only 60 percent of women who’d undergone a mastectomy — with no radiation, which is typical for early stage breast cancer.

    There were key differences between the two groups, Seisling noted.

    Women who chose lumpectomy and radiation were younger, and more likely to receive hormonal therapy. But even with those differences considered, women in the lumpectomy group were 21 percent more likely to be alive

  • 14Oct

    A holiday tree is a festive decoration, but it’s also a tempting hazard for little ones.

    The University of Michigan Health System offers these suggestions about holiday trees:

    • Find a spot for your tree that’s away from sources of heat, such as fireplaces, space heaters and radiators. Make sure the tree is out of the way and doesn’t block doors or people.
    • Opt for a fire-resistant artificial tree, or a live tree that’s freshly cut.
    • Check a live tree for freshness by making sure it’s very green, and that needles don’t pull off or break easily.
    • The end of the trunk should be coated with sticky resin.
    • Before putting the tree in the stand, chop off 2 inches from the trunk to help prevent drying out. Place the tree in a stand with a wide, sturdy base that has plenty of water.
  • 03Oct

    Twenty-one percent of American children and teens have some form of “abnormal” blood cholesterol reading that leaves them at heightened risk for heart disease and stroke as they reach adulthood.

    That’s the conclusion of a review of  federal health data compiled by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Overall, slightly more than 13 percent of kids had unhealthily low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol — the kind that actually might help clear out arteries. The CDC says just over 8 percent had too-high levels of other forms of cholesterol that are bad for arteries, and more than 7 percent had unhealthily high levels of “total” cholesterol.

    Obesity helped drive these trends, the CDC said. For example, more than 43 percent of children who were obese had some form of abnormal cholesterol reading, compared to less than 14 percent of normal-weight children.

    Not surprisingly, rates of abnormal cholesterol readings rose as kids aged. For example, while slightly more than 6 percent of children aged 6 to 8 had high levels of bad cholesterol, that number nearly doubled — to 12 percent — by the time kids were 16 to 19 years of age, the CDC said.

    The CDC report noted that while

  • 28Sep

    Increased stress could be a risk factor for the kind of thinking difficulties that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

    However, the research did not prove that stress caused cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s.

    “We know that, in general, stress makes it harder to think clearly,” said Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the study. “But here’s data showing that stress may put us at risk for developing diseases like Alzheimer’s.”

    The findings were published online Dec. 11 in the journal Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders.

    The study authors gave questionnaires to just over 500 adults, aged 70 and older, asking about how much stress they experience. None of the adults had signs of dementia at the study’s start.

    The researchers followed these adults for more than three years. Each year, the adults underwent a series of tests related to their daily living, their memory and their ability to think clearly.

    Adults who perceived themselves to be under the most stress had a 30 percent greater risk of early cognitive impairment, according to the study. This risk remained after accounting for participants’ depression symptoms, age, sex, race, education level and genetic risk

  • 22Sep

    Alecensa (alectinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration to treat anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer, the agency said Friday in a news release. This type of cancer often spreads to the brain.

    The pill is sanctioned for instances of worsening disease after patients take a standard therapy called Xalkori (crizotinib), or if they are unable to tolerate Xalkori.

    More than 221,000 people in the United States are projected to develop lung cancer this year, and more than 158,000 will die from it, according to the National Cancer Institute. ALK gene mutations are involved in about 5 percent of cases of non-small cell lung cancer, the FDA said.

    Alecensa is designed to block the effects of the ALK protein, thereby preventing these cancer cells from growing and spreading.

    The most common side effects of the drug are fatigue, constipation, swelling and muscle pain. More serious side effects could include liver problems, life-threatening lung inflammation, slowed heartbeat and severe muscle problems. Users also may be prone to more easily becoming sunburned.

    Alecensa is marketed by San Francisco-based Genentec.

    — Scott Roberts

  • 14Sep

    Putting up holiday lights can lead to serious foot injuries from slips and falls, an expert warns.

    For example, a fall from a ladder can cause a broken heel, said Dr. Pedro Cosculluela, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital who specializes in foot and ankle problems.

    “A heel bone fracture is a terrible, life-changing event, and I see too many of these cases around the holidays after people fall off their ladders,” he said in a hospital news release.

    “Heel bone fractures are commonly associated with skin and soft tissue injuries, which need immediate medical attention because they can quickly lead to infection,” he explained.

    Many people with broken heels require surgery with plates and screws to put the bone back together and hold it in place.

    “The biggest complication these patients face isn’t the surgery, but wound healing, as traditional, long incisions can injure the skin’s blood supply which lengthens the healing process,” Cosculluela said. “When possible, I perform this surgery with minimally invasive techniques to help reduce the risk of wound healing issues.”

    When hanging holiday lights, inspect your ladder before use, secure it to the house, and extend it at least three feet above the roof, the U.S Occupational Safety and Health

  • 02Sep

    Vistogard (uridine triacetate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat an overdose of chemotherapy drugs commonly used to treat cancers of the breast and gastrointestinal tract.

    The drugs are fluorouracil and capecitabine. An overdose of either drug, while rare, can be life-threatening, the FDA said Friday in a news release.

    Treatment with Vistogard should begin as soon as possible after the overdose, even if any symptoms of overdose aren’t present, the agency warned. The user’s doctor should then determine when a return to chemotherapy is appropriate.

    Vistogard is designed to minimize cell damage caused by chemotherapy. The drug was evaluated in clinical studies involving 135 children and adults who either had taken an overdose of chemotherapy or had developed a life-threatening toxic reaction within 96 hours of being given chemotherapy. Of clinical trial participants given Vistogard, 89 percent to 97 percent were still alive after 30 days, the agency said.

    Vistogard is not recommended for non-emergency adverse reactions associated with chemotherapy, as the new drug could weaken the effects of chemotherapy, the FDA said. Vistogard’s most common side effects included diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

    Vistogard is marketed by Gaithersburg, Md.-based Wellstat Therapeutics.

  • 26Aug

    The research included 66 seniors who spent at least 24 hours on a breathing machine in an intensive care unit (ICU). One year after their ICU stay, the patients had 1.6 percent less bone density in their lower spines and 1.2 percent less bone density in their thigh bones than would be expected.

    This bone loss may increase their risk of fractures, according to study author Neil Orford, ICU director at University Hospital Geelong in Australia, and colleagues.

    The researchers said critical illness may accelerate bone resorption. This is a process that occurs when bone is broken down, and calcium and other minerals are released into the bloodstream. A year after an ICU stay, the patients’ resorption had returned to normal, but they were left with lower bone density, the study showed.

    The impact of this bone loss depends on a patient’s previous bone health, the study authors noted. The change in resorption is likely to have a greater effect on postmenopausal women, Orford said.

    The study was published recently in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

    “Our study demonstrates a need to investigate the role of anti-resorptive therapies to prevent bone loss in critically ill patients during their time in the

  • 22Aug

    Seeing other people drink or use drugs can trigger antisocial behavior in kids, a new study suggests.

    Duke University researchers used cellphones to survey about 150 children between the ages of 11 and 15 three times a day for 30 days. The study participants completed more than 90 percent of the surveys.

    On days when they saw others drink alcohol or use drugs, participants were two times more likely to engage in behaviors such as stealing, damaging property, or hitting or hurting someone.

    But those with a “risk-taking” gene associated with sensitivity to substance-use exposure were six times more likely to commit such acts, according to the study published online Dec. 9 in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

    “Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate,” study co-author Candice Odgers said in a university news release. Odgers is an associate professor in Duke’s School of Public Policy and associate director of the Center for Child and Family Policy.

    Study lead author Michael Russell, added, “Our findings support the idea that situations where others are

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