Thursday, December 23, 2010

Radioactive elements in the teeth of man

Men who developed up in the St. Louis region in the early sixties and died of cancer by center age had more than double as a lot radioactive atomic number thirty-eight strontium in their child teeth as men delivered in the same region concurrently who are all the same living, according to a study established on teeth amassed years ago by American capital University in St. Louis.

The study, published on December. 1 in The International Journal of Health Services, analysed child teeth collected during the era when the America and the Russia were acquitting atomic bomb tests in the air. The study assays to help scientists ascertain the health issues of little irradiation doses, and to say how a lot citizenry died from bombard occur. There is very little authentic data on the relationship of irradiation to cancer at low doses, so scientists alternatively apply extrapolations from higher doses, which introduces big dubieties into their calculations.

The study implies that deceases from bomb happen globally run into the a lot of 1000s, said the writers, Joseph J. Mangano and Dr. Janette D. Sherman, both of the radioactivity and Public Health Project, non-profit-making research group based in New York.

Even so, a scientist with long receive in the issue, Kevin D. Crowley, the senior board manager of the atomic and radioactivity Studies Board at the National Research Council, urged caution in interpreting the determinations.

It voices like the best you could do is say this is an connection, he said. An connection is not needfully causative.

R. William Field, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa, praised the authors for exploring the association between go on in teeth and cancer, but he that said the sample size was too small and that the study had other limitations. He called for follow-ups.

The study’s authors had previously assayed to connect atomic number 38 strontium in the teeth of babies growing up near atomic power plants to brings out from those founds, but those findings have not met with much scientific acceptance. Atomic number 38 strontium levels in a humans body may have many to do with where the individuals nutrient was farmed than with wherever the human lives. In plus, the NRC accounted that the dosages from radioactive strontium in the surroundings add only about 0.3 percent to the median American’s background exposure.

Simply this analyse attempts to link deviations in tooth contaminant more directly with health results. The analyse calculated the ratio of calcium, a basic building block of teeth and bones, to Sr ninety, which is assimilated just as calcium is. The writers said they were applying strontium as a placeholder for altogether long-lived fallout components, and they picked boys born in a period when there was a lull in atmospherical testing, so that the boys’ exposure to passing radioactive materials, in utero or in the first few months of life, was minimized. They limited their research to boys because men seldom change their names and thus were easier to trace.

The authors found that among 3,000 tooth donors, born in 1959, 1960 or the first half of 1961, 84 had died, 12 of those from cancer. The authors selected two “control” cases, people still living, for each of those who had died. The controls were born in the same county, within 40 days of the person who later died. The study compared incisors with incisors, and molars with molars.

The people who would later die of cancer had an average of 7.0 picocuries of per gram of tooth; the control cases, who have never had cancer, had an average of 3.1 picocuries per gram.

But the picture is not completely clear. Measurements of the teeth of people who later had cancer but survived it did not show strontium levels markedly different from those who had never had cancer, according to the study. One reason may be that those nonfatal cancers were often polyps and melanomas not related to radiation.

the cases of dog bite are increasing

The bit of Americans hospitalized for dog collations almost doubled up over a 15-year-period, increasing to 9,500 in 2008 from 5,100 in 1993, a new government contemplate covers.
The increase vastly outmatched population growth, and pet ownership expanded only slimly during the same flow, averred the report’s author, Anne Elixhauser, a elder research scientist with the authority for Healthcare enquiry and Quality.

The article was an analysis of emergency calls and inmate stays that cast on data from the Nationwide Emergency section Sample for 2008 and from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 1993-2008.

It is really sort of frightening, and unluckily, we’re at a loss to explain it,articulated by Dr. Elixhauser said. It’s a pretty hefty increase.

Almost 866 citizenry a day attended the emergency room with dog bites in 2008, and all but 26 people were allowed in each day.

Kids under pentad and adults 65 and aged were most expected to comprise hospitalized afterward a bite, and house physician* of agricultural domains built Little Joe contemporary world as numerous hand brake room calls in and had ternion clock time* as many hospital admittances for cad morsels than those from nonrural areas, the report said.

Near half from the hospitalised patients asked discussion for bark and tissue paper transmissions, and to a higher degree half involved subprograms as if skin graftings or wound debridement. Treatment cost an fair of $eighteen,two hundred per person.

Moderate drinkers get less heart problems

A Fresh study indicates that what counts to your wellness is not how much alcoholic beverage you deglutition, but how and when you drink it.

For the study, in the journal BMJ, French scientists collected data along the drinking habits of 2,405 adult male* in Emerald Isle and 7,373 in France, and found that the French fuddled more — an medium of dozen ounces a day, compared with about three-quarters of an ounce for the Irish. But 12 percent of the Irish people drank every day, compared with 75 percent of the French. But among the Irish the rate of binge drinking in embodied sharply higher: 9 percentage, compared with unaware.5 percent in French Republic. A binge was defined as five drinks or more at least one day a week.

The scientists accompanied the men for 10 a long time. After assuring for smoking, cholesterol degrees, blood pressure and other risks, they bumped that compared with regular drinkers, both glut drinkers and teetotalists were almost twice as likely to have had heart problems.

In that respect are cultural disputes in drink habits, enunciated the study’s lead author, Dr. Jean Ferrières, a professor of medicine at Toulouse University.

In France, fruits, vegetables and wine are consumed at the same meal,” he said. “We think you can protect your heart by drinking daily with a complete meal. But we don’t know how to disentangle the effect of wine from the other things.

state of california porn clinic license

The L.A. Times article further that porn producers and players are acquiring more and more concerned about health risks, particularly those assorted with crossover players:

Donny Long, a early porno actor who runs the filmjobs internet site, said testing is not adequate to protect performing artist in straight movies from the risks acquired by adult male who as well work in gay porn. Concurrently, he said, mandating condoms would drive straight porn production underground.

But Chi Chi LaRue, a longtime Los Angeles-based porn director, said the straight porn industry would be best protected by expanding condom use. LaRue left Vivid Entertainment when it barred using condoms, and at present involves condom use at the gay porn party she co-owns. LaRue said testing allows the illusion of protective cover in straightaway porn.

I consider every single person that I work with, whether gay or straight, to be a risk," she said. "So I protect everybody on my sets.
The organization had begun its testing program voluntarily, in order to avoid state regulation, which now seems inevitable. It is clear that public health officials are concerned about AIM's rigor in reporting HIV-positive performers:

AIM officials have not notified Los Angeles County public health officials that any performer tested HIV-positive since Patient Zeta ,  Dr. Jonathan Fielding said.

Of class, we're in a locating where we are relying on them for reporting, Fielding alleged of AIM, bringing that he equalled very related because the clinic hasn't collaborated in supplying info about its quarantine to public health officials.

Old age people can live long life

Aged people who adopt healthy dietings may alive longer, a analyse suggests.

Research in the Journal of the American dietetical Association found those who ate a low-fat diet that held back lots of fruit and vegetables lowered their risk of dying over ten years. The analyse compared the diets of 2,500 U.S. adults aged 70 to 79. Those who ate up a high fatty diet rich in ice cream, cheese, and whole milk, had the most in high spirits risk of death.

The study showed that 12 extra people in every hundred survived over the ten years, if they ate healthily. Participants were split into six different groups, according to how often they ate certain foods. The groups were: healthy foods; high-fat diary products; meat, fried foods and alcohol; breakfast cereal; refined grains and sweets and desserts.

Those who had a "healthy foods" diet ate more low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables. People in this group had healthier lifestyles too; smoking less and being more active than other participants.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Poor nations face greater hospital infection burden

The fight against malaria and TB in the developing world should not obscure the problems poor countries face with hospital infections, experts say.

A team led by World Health Organization researchers found poorer countries had much higher infection rates than the developed world.

They reviewed 220 previous studies, finding infection rates were three times higher than in the US.
But they said the issue was going largely unnoticed, the Lancet reported.

The team, which also included Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, the former chief medical officer for England, looked at data going back to 1995 on a range of healthcare-associated bugs, including urinary tract, bloodstream and surgical site infections as well as hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Researchers found the infection rate in developing countries was 15.5 per 100 patients. In Europe it is 7.1 and in the US, 4.5.

The difference in intensive care infections was even greater. In developing countries, infection rates were 47.9 per 1,000 patient-days, compared to 13.6 in the US.
The researchers said simple, low cost measures such as better hand hygiene, surveillance and staff education could make a big difference.

Professor Didier Pittet, one of the lead researchers, said: "There can be a misconception that healthcare-associated infections are not often found in developing countries, simply because their healthcare systems are blitzed with other issues that high-income countries have dealt with or controlled long ago."

Dr Victor Rosenthal, of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium, which was set up to tackle hospital infections globally, welcomed the research, saying: "Health-care-associated infections in developing countries are a serious issue that is scarcely addressed in the scientific literature."

He added it was likely the higher infection rates were leading to deaths, longer hospital stays and extra costs and called on steps to be taken to tackle the problems.

Slow protein clearance 'clue to Alzheimer

Scientists suggest people with Alzheimer's disease clear a damaging protein from their brains more slowly than those who are healthy.

It was already known that the beta-amyloid protein built up in the brains of people with the condition.

But the US study in Science suggests it is the poor clearance of the protein, not the build-up, that is the problem.

UK experts said the study of 24 people was small, but exciting, and could help understanding of the disease.

The ageing population means that dementia, including Alzheimer's, is currently seen as one of the main health challenges in the UK.

Numbers affected are set to soar - figures suggest that more than a million people will have developed the disease before 2025.
Using a spinal needle to collect the fluid, the team of neurologists from the University of Medicine in St Louis measured the amount of beta-amyloid in the brain fluid of 12 patients with late-onset Alzheimer's, and 12 patients who did not have the disease.

The levels were then sampled every hour for 36 hours.
It was found that the clearance of beta-amyloid in people with Alzheimer's was 30% slower than those without the disease.

They suggested beta-amyloid clearance rates could eventually be measured, perhaps via a blood test, in order to detect Alzheimer's before the symptoms appear.

And they added that the results meant scientists could now look at how beta-amyloid is moved out the brain. This in turn could help scientists develop drugs to target that process.

The study of was welcomed by the Alzheimer's Society.

Dr Clive Ballard, director of research, said: "This exciting study gives us an insight into the building blocks of Alzheimer's disease.

"We now need further research to find out why the system is not working properly and whether amyloid is toxic in higher concentrations.

"The burning question is whether this process starts before the onset of symptoms as this could be vital to the development of new treatments."

However Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at the Alzheimer's Research Trust, was more cautious. He commented: "As the researchers themselves point out, this was a small study, and it is not yet clear whether increased amyloid is a cause of Alzheimer's or a symptom of it.

"If we are to find the answers to these elusive questions and find an effective treatment for dementia, we must invest in more research.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Prevent Baby from Infections?

Exclusive breastfeeding for six months wards off baby infections, further evidence suggests.

Regardless of other factors, such as good health care and vaccination programmes , breastfeeding still gives babies a boost, say Greek researchers.

They say it is the composition of breast milk that helps babies fight infections.
The findings, from a study of 1,000 vaccinated infants, are published in Archives of Diseases in Childhood.
Researchers say the benefit only comes with exclusive breastfeeding - mixing breast and bottle will not achieve the same.

World experts already recommend that infants are exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of life.
For the study, the researchers tracked the health of 926 infants for a period of 12 months, recording any common infections these babies had during their first year of life.

All the newborns were routinely vaccinated and had access to a high standard of healthcare.
Almost two-thirds of mothers were breastfeeding at one month, but this figure dropped to just under a fifth at six months.

Overall, 91 of the infants were exclusively breastfed for a full six months.

Subsequently, these infants had significantly fewer common infections during their first year of life than their peers who were either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.

These included respiratory and ear infections, as well as thrush.

And the infections they did pick up were less severe, even after adjusting for other factors that might influence infection risk, such as number of siblings and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Professor Emmanouil Galanakis and his team say it is the composition of breast milk that explains their findings.

Breast milk contains antibodies passed from the mother, as well as other immunological and nutritional factors that help the baby fight off infections.

"Mothers should be advised by health professionals that, in addition to all the other benefits, exclusive breastfeeding helps prevent infections in babies and lessens the frequency and severity of infectious episodes," the researchers say.
Janet Fyle of the Royal College of Midwives said: "This research is very welcome and adds to the growing weight of evidence about the many benefits of breastfeeding.

"We know that breastfeeding is the default method of infant feeding for babies; good for mothers and good for the health of the nation. That is why we need to continue our efforts to ensure that we maintain a high rate of breastfeeding in the UK.

"The UK needs to see breastfeeding as a normal process, and to move away from some of the outdated and negative stigma that is depressingly still attached to it, specifically breastfeeding in public."

The UK needs to see breastfeeding as a normal process, and to move away from some of the outdated and negative stigma that is depressingly still attached to it, specifically breastfeeding in public: said Janet Fyle  Royal College of Midwives

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Experiment on Blocking Of Social Media

Being constantly connected by social media can increase tension,  weaken personal relationships, and even cause sleep loss, according to  a U.S. university.

After imposing a week-long blackout in the use of Facebook, Twitter,  instant messaging and other media, Harrisburg University of Science and  Technology in central Pennsylvania got that the pervasive technology  had hidden pitfalls.

"Students realized that social media, especially Facebook and instant  messaging, if not managed properly, can take over their lives," said  Eric Darr, the college provost.

The 800-student college called for the ban to see how the technology  affects the lives of students and faculty.

Most students complied with the week-long experiment earlier this month  and some discovered that the technology could rule their lives.

Darr cited one student who felt compelled to check Facebook 21 hours a  day and blocked posts between 2 and 5 in the morning to get some sleep.

It sounds like an addiction to me, said Darr, who initiated the  blackout, which was implemented by blocking social media access to the  college's IP address.

Darr acknowledged that students or faculty who felt forced to feed  their social media habituation could do so via smartphones, but he said  most complied, and some were pleasantly surprised by what they found.

"The majority of students behaved much like smokers who sneak  cigarettes after class," he said. "They would sneak off to check things  on their smart phones."

But some discovered that they were less stressed because they were not  able to constantly check their friends' Facebook status and got more  time to do different things.

other students found themselves more likely to have face-to-face  meetings with students or faculty who normally communicate exclusively  by social media.

Student Amanda Zuck said she isn't a heavy user of Facebook but was "a  little irritated" at first by being unable to use the site.

Zuck wrote in an email that she didn't see much advantage in the  project for herself but she added that it had probably helped a friend  whom she said is addicted to Facebook.

"She decided to call it quits for a few weeks while she catches up on  school, and I think this blackout helped her stick with it," Zuck  wrote.

The project allowed all members of the college community to reflect on  how social media tools affect their lives.

Only by stopping and paying attention can we understand, Darr said.  We may not even be aware that social media plays a big part in what we  do and how we do it.

Harrisburg appears to be the first U.S. college to conduct such an  experiment, which probably would not have been possible in larger  academic institutions with more complex infrastructure, Darr said.

The project prompted protests from some people who sent emails arguing  it infringed their freedom of speech, he said.

While the results are still being analyzed, the conclusions seem to be  that social media should be used alongside old-fashioned personal  communication.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Invisible Dangers in Your Fridge

1- Vegetables and Fruits
Today here are some foods that do not have to be in perfect condition for you to enjoy them.

Produce is the best to tell if it is starting to rot, because it won’t feel good enough to eat  Soft, slimy, or stinky produce needs to go in the garbage.

However, greens that are wilted can still be used in soups and stews.  they have simply become a little dehydrated and started the aging process.

To avoid having to throw out expensive fruits and vegetables, grocery shop more often. Buying enough for 3-5 days at a time will help ensure you don’t lose money.

If you wantto judge the condition of meat in your refrigerator is safe, is to check the expiration date. Even meat that looks, smells, and tastes fine could be dangerous.  Steaks and other red meats should not be consumed more than four days past the date on the package. Frozen meat lasts longer, but never thaw and re-freeze it. Use common sense. If meat  is slimy, smells funny, or has a strange color, it should definitely be thrown away.

 3- Milk
Milk is one of the more straightforward nutrients to tell if it is past its prime. If it odours sour, then toss it. Still not sure of the smell--  The consistency should give a hint any lumps or flakes means it needs to go.Cream,  cheese, and sour cream can be a little tricky, but generally stay safe for about 10 days past the date stumped on the label. Yogurt can still be fed a few days past the expiration date, but loses its flavor and nutritional value as it gets older, so it is probably worth throwing out. Cheese and butter last the longest, but it is best to finish them before they are four weeks old.

How to Control Bad Eating Habits?

If find yourself mindlessly munching in front of the TV, entirely unaware of what you’re shoving into your mouth?

Or perhaps you are the type who inspires their food in record time? If these traits sound familiar, then you may in fact be guilty of a bad eating habit. But do not worry; you’re certainly not alone.

Every year, millions of people worldwide spend innumerable hours and dollars attempting to defeat bad habits. But every year, a significant number of these folk fail. Why this happend?  Because stopping an action that has grown routine is no simple feat. As a mindful magazine, AM recognizes that there are hardships in overcoming bad habits, especially when it comes to food, which is why we’ve recruited ourselves an expert on the matter, Dr. Ian Smith.
What is Bad habit?
 A habit is an action that we undertake without even thinking, an unconscious event. If we perceive this habit to be undesirable, then we may label this a "bad habit".

What are Causes Bad Eating Habits?
As is the case with most bad habits, there are a variety of forces that can drive men toward bad eating. According to Dr. Ian, a few familiar forces characterize the majority of bad eating habits
1- A lack of discipline

                          There is a reason that junk food is called “junk.” Your typical junk foods are rarely nutritious while your typical snack foods are rarely satisfying, making it easy to overindulge. Much of the problem with today’s dieting lies with boredom, explains Dr. Ian in his book, The 4 Day Diet. People get tired of eating the same food day after day, and junk foods offer a convenient escape. Don’t become a slave to this convenience. Healthy foods can offer the same variety as junk, but the motivation to opt for change will have to come from within. To get started, find inspiration for innovative foods from outside sources, like a cooking class. Who knows? You might even meet a cute lady friend along the way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease - keeping away ways

Apple Juice
Apple juice can boost the yield of acetylcholine in the brain. That is the like ingredient found in the number one prescribed, extremely advertised pharmaceutic drug Aricept (donepezil), which is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

When researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell spiked the drinking water of old mice with apple juice concentrate they recorded increased speed and accuracy on memory and learning tasks, such as maneuvering their way through mazes.

Go with the past adage of an apple a day, but make that two apples or two cups of juice.

Dr. Richard Anderson, an expert on diabetes at the U.S Department of Agriculture, found that eating cinnamon can invigorate weak, ineffective insulin, enabling it to process sugar normally. Add cinnamon to your foods and drinks.
A total of one-half to one teaspoon a day is plenty for most people. You can also get a high dose of the active ingredients by taking a standardized water-soluble extract of cinnamon as a dietary supplement.

Anderson’s latest research work shows out that cinnamon may stop the genesis of Alzheimer’s disease because it blocked the formation of “tau filaments,” which help to initiate the disease.

Coffee, once considered the drink of the unhealthy, is now emerging as a tonic for the aging brain, as well as a deterrent to several chronic diseases that promote Alzheimer’s. Moreover, several studies suggest that coffee drinking earlier in life reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In one large Finnish study,men and women who drank the most coffee  during middle age were 65 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s 20 years later.

What’s coffee’s secret? It’s an anti inflammatory, helps block the ill effects of cholesterol in the brain, and cuts the risks of stroke, depression, and diabetes, all promoters of dementia. It’s also high in antioxidants and caffeine, both strong players in brain biochemistry.

Wise words from the Mayo Clinic: “For most people, it appears that a moderate daily intake of coffee  doesn’t seem to hurt and may even help.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Depression plus Coronary Heart Disease is Deadly

French and British experts say people with both conditions could be four times more likely to die from heart or circulatory disease.  The study, in Heart journal, tracked the mental and physical health of 6,000 middle-aged people over five years.
Experts said doctors must pay more heed to depression in heart patients. Experts from the University College London and the University of Versailles followed the health of just under 6,000 male and female civil servants for an average of five and a half years.

The volunteers were taking part in the British Whitehall Study II, which is looking at social and economic factors in long-term health.

According to the latest research the combination of depression and coronary heart disease in a patient could be much more deadly than either condition alone, researchers say.
The Researchers  found people with coronary heart disease alone had a 67% higher chance of dying from any cause than those without either heart disease or depression.
But the combination of heart disease and depression tripled the risk of death from any cause and quadrupled the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Amy Thompson, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, which partly funded the study, said: "This study builds on previous research which suggests that depression is linked to coronary heart disease.

"Enjoying regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet can help if you are feeling low - so, good news for your mental health as well as your heart health.
"Whether or not you have heart disease, if you feel depressed it's essential to talk to your doctor."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Psychology - Male Dance Moves That Catch A Woman's Eye

The study, led by psychologist Dr Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, has for the first time identified potential biomechanical differences between "good" and "bad" male dancers. Its findings are published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters on Wednesday 8th September.

Dr Neave believes that such dance movements may form honest signals of a man's reproductive quality, in terms of health, vigour or strength, and will carry out further research to fully grasp the implications.

Researchers, at Northumbria's School of Life Sciences, filmed 19 male volunteers, aged 18-35, with a 3-D camera system as they danced to a basic rhythm. Their real-life movements were mapped onto feature-less, white, gender-neutral humanoid characters, or avatars, so that 35 heterosexual women could rate their dance moves without being prejudiced by each male's individual level of physical attractiveness.

The results showed that eight movement variables made the difference between a "good" and a "bad" dancer. These were the size of movement of the neck, trunk, left shoulder and wrist, the variability of movement size of the neck, trunk and left wrist, and the speed of movement of the right knee.

Female perceptions of good dance quality were influenced most greatly by large and varied movements involving the neck and trunk.

Dr Neave said: "This is the first study to show objectively what differentiates a good dancer from a bad one. Men all over the world will be interested to know what moves they can throw to attract women.

"We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgement about male dance attractiveness. If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style."

Kristofor McCarty said: "The methods we have used here have allowed us to make some preliminary predictions as to why dance has evolved. Our results clearly show that there seems to be a strong general consensus as to what is seen as a good and bad dance, and that women appear to like and look for the same sort of moves.

"From this, we predict that those observations have underlying traits associated with them but further research must be conducted to support such claims."

Dr Neave and Kristofor McCarty also worked with fellow Northumbria researchers Dr Nick Caplan and Dr Johannes Hönekopp, and Jeanette Freynik and Dr Bernhard Fink, from the University of Goettingen, on the landmark study.

Measles Vaccination Programme

China on Saturday launched a measles vaccination programme targeting 100 million children in a bid to eradicate the disease, a leading cause of avoidable death in developing nations, by 2012.
The free 10-day nationwide campaign will focus on children between the ages of eight months and 14 years, the health ministry said, urging parents to participate amid public fears about the safety of the inoculations.

"All the vaccines to be used in the campaign comply with international standards," Liang Xiaofeng, director of the immunisation centre at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted as saying by state media.

In 2009, China reported 52,000 cases of measles, down more than 60 percent from the previous year but still accounting for 86 percent of the cases registered in the World Health Organisation's Western Pacific region. That figure represents an infection rate of 39 per one million people. Beijing is hoping to reduce that figure to fewer than one in a million by the end of 2012.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects children and young adults. While most recover from infection, some can suffer serious complications including blindness, severe diarrhoea and pneumonia. In 2008, an estimated 164,000 people died of measles worldwide, mostly children under the age of five, according to the WHO.

"China is a priority country in the global fight against measles," the WHO's representative in Beijing, Michael O'Leary, said in a statement, noting that some children who have already been vaccinated have not developed immunity.

"Vaccinating every child, even those that have been vaccinated in the past, is essential in stopping the virus with a wall of immunity in the population," the WHO said.

Abused Older Women Suffer Poor Mental Health

A new study finds that older women who are exposed to physical and verbal abuse have poor mental health. But an unexpected twist did show up in the results, study author Dr. Charles P. Mouton said, in that verbal abuse alone was more damaging than physical abuse alone.

Why? "The physical abuse may be perceived as minor or something they lived with their whole life," said Mouton, chair of community and family medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The study is published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Mouton and his co-researchers analyzed data on nearly 94,000 women, aged 50 to 79, who had participated in the large Women's Health Initiative study.

Women who had been abused either physically or verbally over a three-year period had lower scores for mental health, a greater number of depressive symptoms, more social strain and less optimism about life than did women who weren't abused.

While the effects of abuse on younger women have been studied by many researchers, Mouton said the latest study is one of the first to look at older women.

"When I first set up the study, I anticipated the bigger effect for physical and psychological outcomes would have both been driven by exposure to physical abuse," he said.

"But we found verbal abuse had a significant impact," he said. "The group who had verbal abuse-only reported more depressive symptoms than the group that had physical abuse-only. The group who reported the most depressive symptoms had both physical and verbal abuse."

This suggests that the effects of any kind of abuse are wide-ranging, affecting mental health and happiness. "They are less optimistic about their lives," he said. "They have poorer overall mental health, and they have an increase in depressive symptoms. Their quality of life declines at a time when we like to think they are enjoying their golden years." The study results may surprise people, but the findings reflect what experts have seen clinically for years, said Dr. Juley Fulcher, director of policy programs for Break the Cycle, an organization devoted to addressing dating violence in youth.

The findings do add to what Fulcher said is a scarcity of research in this area. "There's been limited research specifically on older women," said Fulcher, an adjunct professor of women's studies at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. While some women in Mouton's study reported only physical or only verbal abuse, Fulcher said that's not the typical scenario. "Most commonly, we are talking about some combination of physical, verbal and sexual abuse," she said.

In a second study, published in the same issue of the journal, New Zealand researchers found that social contact is as effective as physical activity in lifting the mood of depressed older people. The researchers assigned 193 people, aged 75 and older, who had depressive symptoms to either engage in an individualized physical activity program or to receive social visits. Both groups improved in measures related to mood and mental health.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Causes of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

All of us, from time to time, experience what we feel is unusually heavy bleeding during our menstrual periods. Fortunately, most often what we think is abnormal uterine bleeding is not excessive enough to be diagnosed as menorrhagia.

How do you know when bleeding during your period is abnormally heavy? The easiest way to know if you are experiencing menorrhagia is to take note of how often you need to change your pad or tampon. If your period is heavy enough to require changing more often than every one or two hours, or if you have a period that lasts more than a full week, you may be experiencing menorrhagia.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding:

   1. A hormonal imbalance during adolescence or menopause is the most common cause of heavy menstrual bleeding. During adolescence after girls have their first periods, and for several years before the onset of menopause when menstruation ceases, our hormones levels are fluctuating which often leads to excessive uterine bleeding during our periods. It’s often possible to treat menorrhagia caused by hormonal imbalances with birth control pills or other hormones.

2. Uterine fibroid tumors are another very common cause of excessive menstruation. It’s important to understand that fibroid tumors are usually benign tumors that often occur in the uterus of women during their thirties or forties. While the cause of uterine fibroid tumors is unclear, it is clear that they are estrogen-dependent. Several surgical treatments are available for treating fibroid tumors of the uterus including myomectomy, endometrial ablation, uterine artery embalization, and uterine balloon therapy, as well as hysterectomy. Non-surgical pharmacological treatments for fibroid tumors include GnRH agonists, oral contraceptives, androgens, RU486 (the abortion pill), and gestrinone. Some women find natural progesterone to be an effective treatment for uterine fibroid tumors. Often, when symptoms are not severe or troublesome, a “wait and see” approach is taken. Once menopause occurs, uterine fibroid tumors typically shrink and disappear without treatment.

3. Cervical polyps are small, fragile growths that begin in either the mucosal surface of the cervix, or the endocervical canal and protrude through the opening of the cervix. The cause of cervical polyps is not clear; however, they are often the result of an infection and many times associated with an abnormal response to increased estrogen levels or congestion of the blood vessels located in the cervix. Women most commonly affected by cervical polyps are those over the age of twenty who have had children. A simple out patient office procedure that removes the growth, along with antibiotics, is the usual treatment for cervical polyps.

Birth control spray targets Bedbugs

Male bedbugs are so frisky that they will mount anything that looks like a bedbug. But researchers think there might be a way to stop them from following through.A new study by researchers in Sweden found young nymph bedbugs release an “anti-aphrodisiac” pheromone that stops adult males from sexually harassing them.

They are optimistic that the pheromone could one day be used as part of a pest control method to help families and cities battling bedbugs around the world.

The bugs are an ongoing problem in Toronto, where Toronto Public Health has received more than 1,000 calls about bedbugs this year alone. Later this month stakeholders will meet at Queen’s Park for a “Bed Bug Summit” hosted by MPP Mike Colle, who says there’s an abundance of pest control options but little comprehensive research on which ones actually work.

The spike in international bedbug infestations in the past decade has brought new scientific interest and funding for research. At Sweden’s Lund University, Vincent Harraca watched thousands of bedbugs mate (or try to) during a post-doctoral placement in the chemical ecology department.

A word of warning: bedbug sex is not a gentle affair. It involves something called “traumatic insemination.”

A male bedbug’s penis is sharp, “like a weapon,” Harraca says, allowing it to pierce the abdomen of a female bedbug before releasing sperm.

The eager male will jump on not only female bedbugs but also other adult males and nymphs of both sexes, which are not yet fully developed.

Harraca and his colleagues found that, when mounted, a nymph bedbug releases a pheromone that sends a signal to its attacker to leave it alone.

“When the male jumps on the nymph, the nymph will open his gland and release the pheromone and the male will jump off very quickly,” Harraca explains.

He believes a man-made version of the pheromone, sprayed alongside an insecticide, could be used to interfere with bedbug sex, confusing the male bedbugs into thinking all the others are nymphs and thus slowing down the reproduction rate.

Because it sends the bugs running, the pheromone might also make the insecticide more effective.

Harraca says he and his colleagues had a chemist replicate the pheromone, but that they did not have a chance to test it in the field. (Harraca is now on a post-doc placement at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where he is studying a sugar cane pest.)

“I think someone will do it very quickly, because it’s quite promising, in my opinion,” Harraca says.

Changlu Wang, a professor of entomology at Rutgers, says researchers have tried to stop cockroaches from mating with similar approaches.

Wang says the new research is useful but not necessarily the key to bedbug population control. He says synthetic pheromones are expensive to produce, and that, if sprayed, probably wouldn’t last very long.

In Toronto, Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle’s office receives dozens of bedbug-related calls a day — a lot of complaints and concerns, but also suggestions for eradication techniques that range from duct tape to natural products to DDT.

He says the research is “piecemeal and contradictory.”

Colle hopes the bedbug summit on Sept. 29 will convince the provincial and federal governments to underwrite a comprehensive research project on existing eradication techniques and emerging scientific research.

Reg Ayre, a manager in the healthy environments program with Toronto Public Health, says bedbugs have developed a resistance to all the chemicals currently licensed for use in Canada.

They would not, Harraca says, be able to build a resistance to a pheromone that they themselves produce.

“Right now these bugs are very, very resilience,” Colle says. “If there was an atomic war, they say there’s only three things that would be left —bedbugs, cockroaches and dandelions.”

Underweight or Obese women

 Underweight or obese post-menopausal women, prior to a colon cancer diagnosis, may have a greater risk of dying, U.S. researchers say.

Anna E. Prizment, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, Masonic Cancer Center, and colleagues used data from the Iowa Women's Health Study, which included 1,096 women diagnosed with colon cancer who were observed during a maximum 20-year period, during which 493 died -- 289 died from colon cancer.

Women classified as obese, with a body mass index of at least 30 kg/m2, had a 45 percent increased overall mortality rate, while women with a BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2, (underweight) had an 89 percent increased mortality rate compared to those with normal BMI.

"Maintaining a healthy body weight is beneficial for post-menopausal women. This may also be beneficial for those diagnosed with colon cancer later in life. It looks like abdominal obesity may be a useful indicator of higher colon cancer mortality," Prizment says in a statement. "It is too early to say whether a decrease in weight characteristics after diagnosis will also decrease mortality risk; at that point it may be too late. Therefore, it's best to maintain a normal, healthy body weight throughout life."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

HIV Infected Children

Children who undergo highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may need to be revaccinated to maintain their immunity against preventable childhood diseases, researchers from Johns Hopkins have found.

HAART is a combination of three or more potent drugs that target HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.A research team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reviewed 38 published studies and found that most children treated with HAART are still susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases but respond well to revaccination.

"Because of the progressive effects of HIV infection on the ability of the immune system to mount an effective response, many infected children have poorer responses to vaccines than do uninfected children," senior study author Dr. William Moss, an associate professor in the epidemiology department, said in a Bloomberg news release.

"In addition, fewer children infected with HIV achieve protective immunity, and those who do might experience greater and more rapid waning of immunity. These results suggest that children on HAART would benefit from revaccination, but levels of protective immunity might need to be monitored and some children may need additional vaccine doses to maintain protective immunity," Moss said.

Currently, there are no standard or official recommendations on revaccination of HIV-infected children on highly active antiretroviral therapy.

"Vaccination policies and strategies for children infected with HIV on HAART should be developed in regions of high HIV prevalence to ensure adequate individual and population immunity," lead author Catherine Sutcliffe, a research associated in the epidemiology department, said in the news release.

"Without such recommendations, as treatment programs scale up and more children receive HAART and live into adolescence and adulthood, a larger proportion of these children could be susceptible to childhood diseases," she noted.

When You Feed Baby Formula

Baby formula is designed for infants a year old or younger who aren't breast-fed.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions for safe preparation and use of baby formula:

    * Wash bottles and nipples with soap, and sterilize them by boiling for 10 minutes.
    * Follow instructions carefully for mixing formula. Adding the wrong amount of water can lead to serious health problems for baby.
    * Store unmixed formula in areas that are cool and dry with a plastic lid on top of the can.
* Store mixed formula in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
    * Carefully warm up a bottle by setting it in hot water -- never boil or microwave it.
    * Throw away any formula that baby doesn't eat. Don't save it for later.

Brain Shrinkage in Old due to Vitamin B

Daily tablets of large doses of B vitamins can halve the rate of brain shrinkage in elderly people with memory problems and may slow their progression toward dementia, data from a British trial showed on Wednesday,

Scientists from Oxford University said their two-year clinical trial was the largest to date into the effect of B vitamins on so-called "mild cognitive impairment" -- a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Experts commenting on the findings said they were important and called for larger, longer full-scale clinical trials to see if the safety and effectiveness of B vitamins in the prevention of neurodegenerative conditions could be confirmed.

"This is a very dramatic and striking result. It's much more than we could have predicted," said David Smith of Oxford's department of pharmacology, who co-led the trial.

"It is our hope that this simple and safe treatment will delay development of Alzheimer's in many people who suffer from mild memory problems."

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) affects around 16 percent of people aged over 70 worldwide and is characterized by slight problems with memory loss, language or other mental functions.

MCI does not usually interfere with daily life, but around 50 percent of people diagnosed with it go on to develop the far more severe Alzheimer's disease within five years. Alzheimer's is a mind-wasting disease for which there are few treatments and no cure, and which affects 26 million people around the world.

Smith and colleagues conducted a two-year trial with 168 volunteers with MCI who were given either a vitamin pill containing very high doses of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, or a placebo dummy pill.

These B vitamins are known to control levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood, and high blood levels of homocysteine are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Helga Refsum, who also worked on the trial, stressed that vitamins were given in extremely high doses.

"This is a drug, not a vitamin intervention," she said.

The pills, called "TrioBe Plus" contained around 300 times the recommended daily intake of B12, four times daily advised folate levels and 15 times the recommended amount of B6. Brain scans were taken at the beginning and the end of the trial to monitor the rate of brain shrinkage, or atrophy.

The results, published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One journal, showed that on average the brains of those taking the vitamin treatment shrank at a rate of 0.76 percent a year, while those taking the dummy pill had an average brain shrinkage of 1.08 percent.

People who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial benefited the most from the treatment, with their brains shrinking at half the rate of those on the placebo. Although the trial was not designed to measure cognitive ability, the researchers found those people who had lowest rates of shrinkage had the highest scores in mental tests.

Commenting on the study, Paul Matthews, a professor of clinical neurology at Imperial College London said that although the vitamins used are generally safe and inexpensive, the study "should not drive an immediate change in clinical practice".
"Instead, it sets out important questions for further study and gives new confidence that effective treatments modifying the course of some dementias may be in sight," he said.
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