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2010 Featured Archives

2010 InfoMedSearch Weekly Featured Articles

Monday December 20 - December 26 2010

Smokers' Former Homes May Retain Tobacco Toxins “The health of nonsmokers who move into homes previously inhabited by smokers could be threatened by tobacco toxins lodged in dust and on surfaces, a new study finds. This so-called "thirdhand smoke" was found on surfaces even after the homes had been vacant for two months and cleaned and repainted, said researchers reporting online Dec. 17 in Tobacco Control. "We found that thirdhand smoke is trapped on surfaces like walls and ceilings and in household dust and carpets left over by previous residents," study author Georg Matt, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, said in a university news release. "The homes of smokers become reservoirs of tobacco smoke pollutants. When new nonsmoking tenants come in contact with polluted surfaces and inhale suspended microscopic dust, they are unknowingly exposed to tobacco smoke toxins." “

Ambulatory blood pressure measurement. (Prescrire Int. 2010)

Obesity May Interfere With Vitamin D Absorption “The more obese a person is, the poorer his or her vitamin D status, a new study by a team of Norwegian researchers suggests. The study found an inverse relationship between excess pounds and an insufficient amount of vitamin D, which is critical to cell health, calcium absorption and proper immune function. Vitamin D deficiency can raise the risk for bone deterioration and certain types of cancer. The researchers also suggest that overweight and obese people may have problems processing the vitamin properly.”

Too Much Fried Fish Might Help Make South the 'Stroke Belt' “The stroke belt, with more deaths from stroke than the rest of the country, includes North and South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. Consuming a lot of fried foods, especially when cooked in animal or trans fats, is a risk factor for poor cardiovascular health, according to health experts.”

Slideshow: Top Items for Your Allergy Relief Kit

CDC: Travelers to Haiti Are Bringing Cholera to United States

Gray Matter Alterations in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Identified by Voxel Based Morphometry (Biological Psychiatry 2010)

Blueberries and Other Purple Fruits to Ward Off Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's “These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of many kinds in different parts of the body. In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to take on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly. Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of chelators, as is green tea, with purple fruits considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively .”

Study: No Improvement in Hospital Safety “Some hospitals are no safer today than they were 10 years ago, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 1999, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report revealed that medical errors cause as many as 98,000 deaths and more than 1 million injuries per year. Researchers have found that despite efforts to ensure patient safety in the years since the report was published, those rates have remained largely unchanged.”

Do Breast-Fed Baby Boys Grow Into Better Students?

Vitamin D Supplementation: A Promising Approach for the Prevention and Treatment of Strokes (Current Drug Targets 2010)

Blood pressure targets: are clinical guidelines wrong? (Current Opinion in Cardiology 2010) “Summary: In hypertension, evidence does not support the traditional premise ‘the lower the better’. The optimal blood pressure targets have not been established, especially for systolic blood pressure in nondiabetic patients.”

Drink This to Help Undo a Heavy Meal “What makes orange juice so good at clamping down on the inflammation and oxidation that big, fatty meals cause? The heroes are likely two important flavonoids found in oranges -- naringenin and hesperidin. These powerful antioxidants help tamp down body processes that can damage blood vessels and lay the groundwork for big health problems, like atherosclerosis and heart disease.”

Bacterial Vaginosis

Training the Best Treatment for Tennis Elbow, Study Suggests

You Are What Your Father Ate, Too: Paternal Diet Affects Lipid Metabolizing Genes in Offspring, Research Suggests

Heartburn Drugs May Raise Pneumonia Risk

Moms who take folic acid, iron have smarter kids “They said ensuring that pregnant women get this basic prenatal care could have a big effect on the educational futures of children who live in poor communities where iron deficiency is common.”

Smoking may worsen pain for cancer patients “The relationship between smoking and cancer is well established. In a study published in the January 2011 issue of Pain, researchers report evidence to suggest that cancer patients who continue to smoke despite their diagnosis experience greater pain than nonsmokers. They found that for a wide range of cancer types and for cancers in stages I to IV, smoking was associated with increased pain severity and the extent to which pain interfered with a patient's daily routine.”

CDC Issues 2010 Treatment Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

NGC - Major depression in adults in primary care. (2010)

Monday December 13 - December 19 2010

Joint effects of dietary vitamin D and sun exposure on breast cancer risk: results from the French E3N cohort. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010) “Our results suggest that a threshold of vitamin D exposure from both sun and diet is required to prevent BC and this threshold is particularly difficult to reach in postmenopausal women at northern latitudes where quality of sunlight is too poor for adequate vitamin D production.”

Salt, processed meat and the risk of cancer. (Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010) “Compared with never adding salt at the table, always or often adding salt at the table was associated with an increased risk of stomach, lung, testicular and bladder cancer. Processed meat was significantly related to the risk of the stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, prostate, testis, kidney and bladdercancer and leukaemia; the odds ratios for the highest quartile ranged from 1.3 to 1.7. The findings addtothe evidence that high consumption of salt and processed meat may play a role in the aetiology of severalcancers.”

Change in Physical Activity and Colon Cancer Incidence and Mortality (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010)

Caffeine Negatively Affects Children: Most Consume Caffeine Daily “In a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that 75% of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.”

Food Poisoning Hits 1 in 6 Americans Each Year: CDC “Each year in the United States some 48 million people, or one in every six Americans, are sickened by the food they eat, according to two federal health reports issued Wednesday.”

Sales Receipts Contain Toxic Ingredient “A study released earlier this week by the environmental group Washington Toxics Coalition found that half of receipts spit out by modern cash registers and 95 percent of paper currency tested were tainted with bisphenol A. BPA was found in 11 of 22 receipts gathered from retailers in New York, nine other states and Washington, D.C. BPA is part of a powdery film used on receipts to produce a thermally activated ink, and has been in use in treated papers since the 1960s. It is also used in the manufacture of some plastics. BPA easily transfers from receipts to other items, including currency and human skin, where it can be absorbed into the body, according to the study. “

We're Living Longer, But Not Healthier

Cranberry Juice May Not Prevent Urinary Tract Infection

What the new vitamin D advice means

Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen Linked to Childhood Wheezing

Accuracy of Screening Mammography Fluctuates With Menstrual Cycle “For premenopausal women scheduling mammography at regular intervals, the screening may be more sensitive in week 1 of the menstrual cycle, a new study suggests.”

ER Patients Put Faith in CT Scans “The study also found that 75 percent of patients underestimated the amount of radiation delivered by a CT scan, and only 3 percent understood that CT scans increase a person's lifetime risk of cancer. It's estimated that 1.5 percent to 2 percent of all cancers in the United States may be attributable to CT scan radiation.”

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Linked to Mental Disorders in Children “A higher level of salivary cotinine, a biomarker used to measure secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, is associated with poorer mental health — particularly hyperactivity and conduct disorder — in children, suggests a new community-based study drawn from the Scottish Health Surveys. In addition, investigators found that 40% of the more than 900 children included in the study had high SHS exposure, with the highest cotinine levels found in those living in poorer areas.”

Children, Teens Account for Half of Exercise-Related Heat Injuries

Echinacea for Treating the Common Cold (Annals 2010) “Illness duration and severity were not statistically significant with echinacea compared with placebo. These results do not support the ability of this dose of the echinacea formulation to substantively change the course of the common cold.”

Physical Activity and Onset of Acute Ischemic Stroke: The Stroke Onset Study. (Am J Epidemiol. 2010)

25-Hydroxyvitamin D concentration, vitamin D intake and joint symptoms in postmenopausal women. (Maturitas. 2010)

Active surveillance for prostate cancer. (JAMA. 2010)

Finger Length a Clue to Prostate Cancer Risk

Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Prostate Cancer

Hand pattern indicates prostate cancer risk. (Br J Cancer. 2010)

Abnormalities of the corpus callosum in non-psychotic high-risk offspring of schizophrenia patients. (Psychiatry Res. 2010)

What is Bizarre in Bizarre Delusions? A Critical Review (Schizophr Bull. 2010)


Monday December 6 - December 12 2010

When Wrinkle-Free Clothing Also Means Formaldehyde Fumes “Though it is not obvious from the label, the antiwrinkle finish comes from a resin that releases formaldehyde, the chemical that is usually associated with embalming fluids or dissected frogs in biology class. And clothing is not the only thing treated with the chemical. Formaldehyde is commonly found in a broad range of consumer products and can show up in practically every room of the house. The sheets and pillow cases on the bed. The drapes hanging in the living room. The upholstery on the couch. In the bathroom, it can be found in personal care products like shampoos, lotions and eye shadow. It may even be in the baseball cap hanging by the back door. … The United States does not regulate formaldehyde levels in clothing, most of which is now made overseas. Nor does any government agency require manufacturers to disclose the use of the chemical on labels. So sensitive consumers may have a hard time avoiding it (though washing the clothes before wearing them helps).“

Early Cell Phone Exposure Again Linked to Behavior Problems in Children

Diabetic Brains Suffer From Lack Of Cholesterol “The findings offer a new explanation for the neurologic and cerebral complications that come with diabetes, including cognitive dysfunction, depression, and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the researchers.”

Both High, Low Levels of Vitamin D in Older Women May Be Problematic “The industry-sponsored Vitamin D Council, in fact, recommends a "minimal acceptable" blood level of 50 ng/ml. But, Ensrud noted, "Our study did not find that higher vitamin D status [more than 30 ng/ml] was associated with lower subsequent risks of frailty or death. In fact, higher levels of vitamin D were associated with increased likelihood of frailty." "Our results indicate that well-designed large randomized trials of sufficient duration are needed to accurately quantify health effects of vitamin D supplementation, including whether or not supplementation reduces the incidence or progression of frailty in older adults," Ensrud concluded.”

Certain Obese Women Have Poorer Breast Cancer Outcomes

Blueberries and Other Purple Fruits to Ward Off Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's “Eating purple fruits such as blueberries and drinking green tea can help ward off diseases including Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's, a University of Manchester report claims.”

Yearly Mammograms Starting at Age 40 Cut Mastectomy Risk in Half

When to End a Run to Avoid Injury: Runners Change Form When Running Exhausted “Runners who continue running when they are exhausted unknowingly change their running form, which could be related to an increased risk for injury.”

Physical activity and gastrointestinal cancer prevention. (Recent Results Cancer Res. 2011)

Aspirin Cuts Death Rate From Several Common Cancers “Taking aspirin over a long period of time can substantially cut the risk of dying from a variety of cancers, according to a study showing that the benefit is independent of dose, sex, or smoking. It also found that the protective effect increases with age.”

Facts on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SIDS/SUID)

Germ Cops Help Hospitals Prevent Infection, Death

Bullying at age eight and criminality in adulthood: findings from the Finnish Nationwide 1981 Birth Cohort Study. (Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2010)

Is It a Common Cold or Allergies?

Monday November 29 - December 5 2010

Study finds low vitamin-d levels in northern California residents with metabolic syndrome “"In spite of our great sun exposure in Northern California, 30 percent of patients with metabolic syndrome have vitamin-D deficiency, and even many subjects in the control group had inadequate levels," said Ishwarlal Jialal, the study's principal investigator and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UC Davis Health System. "Considering our climate and healthy lifestyles here, these findings were unexpected."”

Wide Variation in Response to FDA Rosiglitazone Warning “Doctors do not respond adequately to FDA boxed warnings on drug labels, resulting in significant exposure of patients to potentially unsafe medications, according to researchers who use the rosiglitazone saga as an example.”

Vitamin D status in a sunny country: Where has the sun gone? (Clinical Nutrition 2010) “In São Paulo, at the end of winter, we observed a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D and secondary hyperparathyroidism in healthy adults. s25(OH)D was dependent on age and skin color. After summer, we observed a decrease in the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D. This unexpected finding emphasizes the need for a strong recommendation to monitor s25(OH)D, even in a sunny country such as Brazil.”

As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up “Cyberbullying is often legally defined as repeated harassment online, although in popular use, it can describe even a sharp-elbowed, gratuitous swipe. Cyberbullies themselves resist easy categorization: the anonymity of the Internet gives cover not only to schoolyard-bully types but to victims themselves, who feel they can retaliate without getting caught. But online bullying can be more psychologically savage than schoolyard bullying. The Internet erases inhibitions, with adolescents often going further with slights online than in person. “

'Hands-Only' CPR Works, but Survival Still Low “Using national data on more than 55,000 Japanese adults who suffered a witnessed cardiac arrest, the researchers found that roughly 7% of those who received CPR from a bystander and were treated by paramedics within 15 minutes survived with a favorable neurological outcome. There was no significant difference between those who received conventional CPR and those who received the hands-only approach: 7.1% and 6.4%, respectively, survived and had a favorable neurological outcome one month later -- meaning no greater than "moderate" brain damage that left them still able to perform routine daily activities. That compared with a rate of 3.8% among victims who received no bystander CPR and were treated by emergency medical services within 15 minutes of their collapse. When treatment from paramedics was delayed for more than 15 minutes, survival with minimal brain damage was universally lower -- though somewhat higher with conventional CPR relative to hands-only and no CPR. Among victims who received no CPR, just 0.7% survived with no more than moderate brain damage one month later. That figure was 1.3% among those who received hands-only CPR, and 2% among victims who received conventional CPR.“

Working With Pesticides May Affect Memory and More

Obesity Can Shorten Life, Analysis Finds “With a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, the morbidly obese had a death rate more than double that of those of normal weight, according to study author Amy Berrington de Gonzalez.”

Study: Being overweight, not just obese, raises death risk “The latest research involving about 1.5 million people concluded that healthy white adults who were overweight were 13% more likely to die during the time they were followed in the study than those whose weight is in an ideal range. "Having a little extra meat on your bones — if that meat happens to be fat — is harmful, not beneficial," said Dr. Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society, senior author of the study. The study's conclusions, published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, are similar to three other large studies, said the lead author, Amy Berrington of the National Cancer Institute. "Now there's really a very large body of evidence which supports the finding that being overweight is associated with a small increased risk of death," Berrington said.”

Hearing Loss in Elderly May Be Linked to Folate Deficiency

People With Sleep Apnea At Higher Risk For Aggressive Heart Disease

Eating vegetables, fruits as children linked to healthier arteries as adults “Children who consistently eat lots of fruits and vegetables lower their risk of having stiff arteries in young adulthood, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.”

Tummy Fat May Threaten Women's Bones

Household Chemicals Linked to Early Puberty, Infertility

Excess Fructose May Play Role in Diabetes, Obesity and Other Health Conditions

Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D

Report Questions Need for 2 Diet Supplements “Over the past few years, the idea that nearly everyone needs extra calcium and vitamin D — especially vitamin D — has swept the nation. With calcium, adolescent girls may be the only group that is getting too little, the panel found. Older women, on the other hand, may take too much, putting themselves at risk for kidney stones. And there is evidence that excess calcium can increase the risk of heart disease, the group wrote. As for vitamin D, some prominent doctors have said that most people need supplements or they will be at increased risk for a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases. And these days more and more people know their vitamin D levels because they are being tested for it as part of routine physical exams. “The number of vitamin D tests has exploded,” said Dennis Black, a reviewer of the report who is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. … But Andrew Shao, an executive vice president at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group, said the panel was being overly cautious, especially in its recommendations about vitamin D. He said there was no convincing evidence that people were being harmed by taking supplements, and he said higher levels of vitamin D, in particular, could be beneficial. Such claims “are not supported by the available evidence,” the committee wrote. They were based on studies that observed populations and concluded that people with lower levels of the vitamin had more of various diseases. Such studies have been misleading and most scientists agree that they cannot determine cause and effect. It is not clear how or why the claims for high vitamin D levels started, medical experts say. First there were two studies, which turned out to be incorrect, that said people needed 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood, the upper end of what the committee says is a normal range. They were followed by articles and claims and books saying much higher levels — 40 to 50 nanograms or even higher — were needed. After reviewing the data, the committee concluded that the evidence for the benefits of high levels of vitamin D was “inconsistent and/or conflicting and did not demonstrate causality.” Evidence also suggests that high levels of vitamin D can increase the risks for fractures and the overall death rate and can raise the risk for other diseases. While those studies are not conclusive, any risk looms large when there is no demonstrable benefit. Those hints of risk are “challenging the concept that ‘more is better,’ ” the committee wrote. That is what surprised Dr. Black. “We thought that probably higher is better,” he said. He has changed his mind, and expects others will too: “I think this report will make people more cautious.” “

Binge Drinking Increases Heart Disease Risk

Girls Who Suffer Child Abuse May Abuse Alcohol as Adults

Could You Have Type 2? 10 Diabetes Symptoms

Urban Particulate Matter Air Pollution Is Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis Results From the HNR (Heinz Nixdorf Recall) Study. (J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010) “Our study shows a clear association of long-term exposure to PM(2.5) with atherosclerosis. This finding strengthens the hypothesized role of PM(2.5) as a risk factor for atherogenesis.”

Monday November 22 - November 28 2010

Kids With Larger Waist Sizes Are More Likely to Have Cardiac Risk Factors “In a study of more than 4,500 children, researchers found those with higher waist circumferences had significantly higher pulse pressures, which is known to be linked to increased risk of heart-related disorders.”

Just a Little Bit of Sugar “Most women should consume no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugars a day, and most men, no more than 37.5 grams (about 9 teaspoons), according to the American Heart Association. With 4 calories per gram of sugar, that’s no more than 100 calories of added sugars for women, and no more than 150 for men. It’s easy to exceed these sugar limits—and most Americans do. A 16-ounce bottle of soda has about 44 grams (11 teaspoons) of added sugar, and many people drink a lot more than that. In fact, the average American consumes about 90 grams (22 teaspoons) of added sugars a day—355 calories’ worth—mostly from sodas, but also from other sweetened beverages (including fruit drinks), desserts, candy, and breakfast cereals. Many other foods, even ketchup, have sugar added to them as well.”

Greater Coffee Intake in Men Is Associated With Steeper Age-Related Increases in Blood Pressure. (Am J Hypertens. 2010) “Greater coffee intake in men was associated with steeper age-related increases in SBP and pulse pressure, particularly beyond 70 years of age and in overweight to obese men.”

Insomnia medication: Do published studies reflect the complete picture of efficacy and safety? (Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010) “In conclusion, selective publication and reporting lead to an overestimation of efficacy and underestimation of safety of insomnia products. Authors of treatment guidelines should be aware of this bias. EPARs/FDA reviews provide a more unbiased view of the benefit-risk balance of insomnia and other medications and hence these documents should be consulted by e.g. authors of meta-analyses and of treatment guidelines.”

No Link Between Mold Growth and Development of Asthma and Allergy, Scandinavian Study Finds

Jet-Lagged and Forgetful? It's No Coincidence: Memory, Learning Problems Persist Long After Periods of Jet Lag

Hospitals hurt 18 percent of patients, study says

19 Million New Cases Of Sexually Transmitted Disease Annually In The USA “If an STD goes untreated or undetected, the risk of becoming infected with HIV is greater, there is a higher chance of having a serious health consequence, such as infertility. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in females, which can cause infertility. In fact, according to US health authorities, over 24,000 American women with an STD become infertile annually. Syphilis can lead to brain damage, as well as damage to the cardiovascular system and other organs, if left untreated. A pregnant woman can pass on her syphilis infection to her baby (congenital syphilis), causing stillbirth, perinatal death, neurological problems, and physical deformity. 40% of babies die if the pregnant mother has syphilis.”

Early puberty triggered by body fat: study

Diabetes requires aerobic plus weight exercise, experts say

Music-Based Exercise Class Cuts Seniors' Fall Risk

Radiation Worries for Children in Dentists’ Chairs “Not only do most dentists continue to use outmoded X-ray film requiring higher amounts of radiation, but orthodontists and other specialists are embracing a new scanning device that emits significantly more radiation than conventional methods, an examination by The New York Times has found.”

Cadmium, lead found in drinking glasses “Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz" exceed federal limits for lead in children's products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press. The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children's products is 0.03 percent. The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces. In separate testing to recreate regular handling, other glasses shed small but notable amounts of lead or cadmium from their decorations. Federal regulators have worried that toxic metals rubbing onto children's hands can get into their mouths. Among the brands on those glasses: Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Burger King and McDonald's.”

Among Cell-Phone Junkies, Rash on the Rise

Hold the Phone: Prolonged Cell Use Can Trigger Allergic Reaction, as Can Body Piercing, Tattoos and Cosmetics

Spanking Kids Can Make Them More Aggressive Later

Food Allergy: What You Need to Know (Medscape Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2010)

Slideshow: Surprising Headache Triggers

The seasonality of pandemic and non-pandemic influenzas: the roles of solar radiation and vitamin D. (Int J Infect Dis. 2010)

Monday November 15 - November 21 2010

Long-Term Health Problems Linked To Bariatric Surgery “One of the most well-known procedures of this type is gastric bypass surgery, which makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. The operation tricks the patient into feeling full with less food than when their stomach was its original size. While gastric bypass surgery can cause rapid and dramatic weight loss, there are drawbacks. After bypassing the small intestine, food moves directly to the lower intestine which does not absorb nutrients as well as the upper part of the digestive tract. The patient eats less and derives less nutrition from the food that is consumed. Less fat is absorbed by the body, but along with that benefit, fewer essential nutrients and vitamins are absorbed. "Typically what happens is people get really excited about the weight loss, and feel healthier to the point where they feel that they don't need to go in for their routine checkups," said Nana Gletsu Miller, Ph.D, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at Emory University. "Less than 20 percent get routinely checked after surgery, and this is what leads to complications." “

High prevalence of low vitamin d and musculoskeletal complaints in women with breast cancer. (Breast J. 2010) “Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high in breast cancer women and this may increase the risk of bone loss and fractures in those who are going to start AIs. Moreover, musculoskeletal pains are common in breast cancer women, even before the initiation of AIs and in association with low vitamin D in the majority. Future studies may be needed to establish the contribution of low vitamin D, if any, on the prevalence of musculoskeletal pains in women on AIs.”

Public information as a marketing tool: Promotion of diseases and medicines

Forceps and Other Instruments Can Assist Birth, but With Risks to Mother, Child

Cancer risks after radiation exposure in middle age. (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010) “For radiation exposure in middle age, most radiation-induced cancer risks do not, as often assumed, decrease with increasing age at exposure. This observation suggests that promotional processes in radiation carcinogenesis become increasingly important as the age at exposure increases. Radiation-induced cancer risks after exposure in middle age may be up to twice as high as previously estimated, which could have implications for occupational exposure and radiological imaging.”

Darvon, Darvocet Banned

"Mammography Saves Lives" Slogan Doesn't Tell Full Story “The current Mammography Saves Lives campaign in the United States and previous campaigns promoting screening for breast cancer are not providing balanced information, because they underreport, or don't mention at all, potential harms from the procedure, say critics. This campaign slogan is 1-sided, several critics told Medscape Medical News, and it oversells the benefits of mammography. When asked for a more accurate headline, H. Gilbert Welch MD, MPH, from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, had the following tongue-in-cheek suggestions: "Mammography could save your life, but it's a long shot" and "Chances are it won't, but mammography could save your life." “

Prior Aspirin Use and Outcomes in Acute Coronary Syndromes (J Am Coll Cardiol, 2010)

Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

Hepatitis A World Map

Hepatitis B World Map

Hepatitis C World Map

List of Maps - CDC

Despite FDA Warning, Avandia Use Varies Across U.S. “Using the controversial diabetes drug Avandia as an example, new research finds that doctors' prescribing patterns vary across the country in response to warnings about medications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The result is that patients may be exposed to different levels of risk depending on where they live, the researchers said.”

Should You Be Snuggling With Your Cellphone? “The authors included some disturbing data in an appendix available only online. These showed that subjects who used a cellphone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor.”

Internet fuels bad self-diagnoses and 'cyberchondria' “"It’s important to stay up on health-related information … but because information on the Web is so unfathomably plentiful, so readily available, and so unsorted, it's easy for someone to jump to the conclusion that they have a brain tumor when in fact it’s just a sinus infection,” according to Judy Segal, professor of English at the University of British Columbia who works on the cultural studies of medicine. To complicate matters further, a lot of the medical information available for free online is actually accurate and reliable, experts say. "The problem is, though, that even when the information is reliable, our ability to know what to do with it isn’t," Segal told MyHealthNewsDaily. "Medical problems are often complicated, and someone without a medical background may jump to false conclusions." “

Drinking 100 Percent Fruit Juice Is Linked To Higher Intake Of Essential Nutrients

Regular exercise 'cuts disease risk' “Regular exercise cuts the risk of more than 20 illnesses, a review found on Monday. The chance of major diseases, including colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke are all reduced with weekly exercise, according to the study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice. "Apart from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice an individual can make for improved health outcomes," said the author, Leslie Alford from the school of physiotherapy at the University of East Anglia.”

Early 'Pot' Use May Harm Brain More: Study “People who started smoking marijuana at a young age did much worse on tests of executive brain function than those who started smoking when they were older, a new study shows. The findings highlight the danger posed by marijuana and the need to develop effective strategies to reduce marijuana use, especially among young people, said the researchers. They noted that adolescence is a critical time in brain development. Executive function includes planning, flexibility, abstract thinking and inhibition of inappropriate responses.”

Top 50 US Hospitals for Inpatient Cardiovascular Care

Nearly 1 in 7 Hospitalized Medicare Patients Experience Adverse Events

Air travel and the risk of thromboembolism. (Intern Emerg Med. 2010)

Monday November 8 - November 14 2010

To Best Fight Cancer, New Guidelines Urge Exercise

Gout In Women, A Not So Sweet Outcome Of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks “Women who consume fructose-rich beverages, such as sugar-sweetened soft drinks and orange juice, are at an increased risk for gout, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta.”

Study links painkillers to reproductive disorders “Use of mild painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen during pregnancy may partly account for a sharp increase in male reproductive disorders in recent decades, according to a study published on Monday. The research found that women who took a combination of more than one mild analgesic during pregnancy had an increased risk of giving birth to sons with undescended testicles.”

Long-term impact of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence on morbidity and premature mortality in adulthood: systematic review. (Int J Obes (Lond). 2010) “Conclusions:A relatively large and fairly consistent body of evidence now demonstrates that overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence have adverse consequences on premature mortality and physical morbidity in adulthood.”

Hormone Therapy Increases Risk Of Ovarian Cancer

Breast Cancer Recurrence: Younger Women at Higher Risk “A study of nearly 600 younger women with a very early stage of breast cancer suggests that women under age 45 are at higher risk of recurrence. Canadian researchers studied women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who were given the standard treatment of breast-conserving surgery followed by radiation, says study head Iwa Kong, MD, a clinical research fellow in radiation oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. By an average of nearly eight years after treatment, cancer had come back in the affected breast of 18% of women under 45, compared with 11% of women aged 45 to 50.”

Executive Functioning Problems Consistent Predictors of Adult ADHD

Exercise May Reduce Risk of Endometrial Cancer

Dangerous chemicals in food wrappers likely migrating to humans: U of T study “University of Toronto scientists have found that chemicals used to line junk food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags are migrating into food and being ingested by people where they are contributing to chemical contamination observed in blood. Perfluorinated carboxylic acids or PFCAs are the breakdown products of chemicals used to make non-stick and water- and stain-repellant products ranging from kitchen pans to clothing to food packaging. PFCAs, the best known of which is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are found in humans all around the world. "We suspected that a major source of human PFCA exposure may be the consumption and metabolism of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters or PAPs," says Jessica D'eon, a graduate student in the University of Toronto's Department of Chemistry. "PAPs are applied as greaseproofing agents to paper food contact packaging such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags." “

Regular Physical Activity Significantly Reduces Depression Risk

Two More Risk Factors Linked to Breast Cancer “Apart from age, family history, and age at first menstrual period, two additional factors have been associated with a higher risk for developing breast cancer; mammographic breast density and extent of lobular involution. Lobular involution is the physiological degeneration of the breast and is known to increase with age. Researchers found that breast density and extent of lobular involution were independent risk factors for breast cancer, and that combined, they pose an even greater risk. “

Why Risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Is Greater in Babies of Mothers Who Smoke

Which Is More Sanitary: Hand Towels or Air Dryers? “No matter which method you choose, you won't be rid of germs unless you dry your hands thoroughly. Germs love water. It's their ideal medium for multiplying and getting around. And the recent study found that putting in the time and effort to really dry hands completely will mean way fewer germs. And get this: Drying hands vigorously with a paper towel bested rubbing them dry under a blower when it came to germ levels. Seems the skin-on-skin friction created when we rub our hands under the blower somehow releases more germs that live deep in our pores.”

Tai Chi Relieves Arthritis Pain, Improves Reach, Balance, Well-Being, Study Suggests

'Toxic Toy Crisis' Requires Fresh Solutions, Experts Say


Monday November 1 - November 7 2010

Calcium supplements can set stage for MI “People who take calcium supplements without coadministered vitamin D may be increasing their risk for heart attack by as much as 31%, based on the findings of a recent meta-analysis… Data suggest that these cardiovascular risks are associated only with calcium-supplement use, not dietary calcium intake.”

What Is the Value of Mammograms for Women in Their 40s?

Overheating in Infants Can Lead to SIDS, Experts Warn “During cold weather, the use of extra blankets and heavy clothes to keep infants warm can lead to dangerous overheating and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), U.S. experts warn. Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperatures and have poor regulation of their body temperature. Research has shown that multiple layers of clothing, heavy clothing, heavy blankets and warm room temperatures increase risk of SIDS. Babies who are in danger of overheating feel hot to the touch, the experts at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) explained in a U.S. National Institutes of Health news release.”

Eating Peanuts in Pregnancy Linked to Positive Allergy Tests in Allergy-Prone Kids

High Resting Heart Rate Means Shorter Life? “Heart disease patients with the lowest heart rate, 59 beats per minute or less, had the least risk of suffering a major cardiac event. Those who had heart rates greater than 78 had a 39 percent increased risk of suffering a major cardiac event, 77 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease death, and a 65 percent increased risk of all-cause death. They were twice as likely to be hospitalized as those with lower heart rates.”

Half of Teens Treated for Depression Will Relapse: Study “Although almost all teens who were treated for major depression initially recovered, about half ended up suffering a relapse within five years, a new study found. And those recurrences were more likely to strike girls than boys, the researchers found.”

Sexual abuse in childhood tied to schizophrenia “Although child abuse has been firmly tied to other mental health problems -- including depression, anxiety and suicide -- the link to psychotic illnesses has long been a subject of debate. The new study shows sexual assaults more than doubled the odds that a child would develop schizophrenia as an adult -- from less than 1 in 100 (0.7 percent) in the general population to nearly 2 in 100 (1.9 percent) among the abuse victims. The risk was higher still if the assault involved penetration or multiple perpetrators, or took place in the early teenage years. Nearly one in five adults who had been raped by more than one person between ages 13 and 15 developed schizophrenia or another psychotic illness, Margaret Cutajar, of Monash University in Victoria, and colleagues found.”

'Spiral' CT scans can cut lung cancer deaths

Changes in waist circumference and mortality in middle-aged men and women. (PLoS One. 2010)

Teens of Epileptic Mothers May Lag Academically: Study

Concussion Rate in Young Hockey Players Higher Than Thought

Insufficient Vitamin D Levels in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients Linked to Cancer Progression and Death “In the Mayo Clinic study, published online in the journal Blood, the researchers found that patients with insufficient levels of vitamin D when their leukemia was diagnosed progressed much faster and were about twice as likely to die as were patients with adequate levels of vitamin D. They also found solid trends: increasing vitamin D levels across patients matched longer survival times and decreasing levels matched shortening intervals between diagnosis and cancer progression. “

Parents' Effort Key to Child's Educational Performance “A new study by researchers at the University of Leicester and University of Leeds has concluded that parents' efforts towards their child's educational achievement is crucial -- playing a more significant role than that of the school or child. … The researchers found that parents' effort is more important for a child's educational attainment than the school's effort, which in turn is more important than the child's own effort.”

Mediterranean Diet Helps Control Cholesterol: Adding Monounsaturated Fats to a Low-Cholesterol Diet Can Further Improve Levels “The addition of monounsaturated fat (MUFA) to a cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio in patients with mild to moderate elevated cholesterol levels increased HDL by 12.5% and lowered LDL levels by 35%, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).”

Doctors discourage repeat calcium heart scans

Half of Those Travelling Internationally Not Aware of Potential Health Risks, Study Finds

Bed Rest Can Harm, Instead of Help, in Pregnancy Complications, Research Suggests

Lung cancer and occupation: A new zealand cancer registry-based case-control study. (Am J Ind Med. 2010)

The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools. (J Sch Health. 2010)

Monday October 25 - October 31 2010

'Time is Muscle': Aspirin Taken During Acute Coronary Thrombosis (Br J Cardiol. 2010) “Low-dose aspirin is of value in the long-term management of vascular disease, and the giving of aspirin to patients believed to be experiencing an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is standard practice for paramedics and doctors in most countries. Given during infarction, aspirin may disaggregate platelet microthrombi and may reduce the size of a developing thrombus. Effects of aspirin other than on platelets have also been suggested and these include an increase in the permeability of a fibrin clot and an enhancement of clot lysis. Animal experiments have also shown a direct effect of aspirin upon the myocardium with a reduction in the incidence of ventricular fibrillation. Randomised trials have shown that the earlier aspirin is taken by patients with myocardial infarction, the greater the reduction in deaths. We suggest, therefore, that patients known to be at risk of an AMI, including older people, should be advised to carry a few tablets of soluble aspirin at all times, and chew and swallow a tablet immediately, if they experience severe chest pain.”

Glucosamine May Kill Pancreatic Cells “Individuals who use large amounts of glucosamine, those who consume it for long periods, and those with little SIRT1 in their cells are therefore believed to be at greater risk of developing diabetes.”

Dietary Fats Seem to Affect Sperm Quality “Men who eat foods containing a lot of saturated fats -- think burgers and fries -- and monounsaturated fats may be harming their sperm, a new study by Harvard researchers suggests.”

More Physical Education for Children Boosts Bone Mass “Increasing the amount of physical activity that children get in school increases the health of their bones and might be one way of preventing the epidemic of hip and other fractures currently seen in adults … “

Drug Companies Influence Prescribing, Study Finds “Doctors tend to prescribe drugs that pharmaceutical companies promote to them and patients end up paying more but not always getting the most suitable medicines, researchers reported on Wednesday. An analysis of 58 studies in several countries found that information from drug companies influenced the decisions doctors made, and not necessarily in a positive way. "You couldn't say that information from pharmaceutical companies benefited doctor's prescribing, which is what pharmaceutical companies claim," said Dr. Geoffrey Spurling of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, who led the study.”

Spice in Curry Could Prevent Liver Damage

Fish Oil Might Help Fight Gum Disease

A Review of Triple-negative Breast Cancer (Cancer Control. 2010)

You don't have to hurt as you age! Eat broccoli and avoid arthritis

Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study (BMJ 2010) “Adherence to the recommendations for physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet may reduce colorectal cancer risk considerably, and in this population 23% of the cases might be attributable to lack of adherence to the five lifestyle recommendations.”

Scientists Raise Concerns About Flame Retardants "Flame retardants used in a wide range of consumer products pose a threat to human health and may not even be all that effective, according to a statement signed by nearly 150 scientists from 22 countries. Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (BFRs and CFRs) are used in products such as televisions, computers, cell phones, upholstered furniture, mattresses, carpet pads, textiles, airplanes and cars."

Belly Fat Is Key to U.S. Diabetes Risk “Bernstein says fat that accumulates in the belly is particularly dangerous because it affects the organs involved in regulating blood sugar. Insulin stimulates the liver to store sugar in the blood for later use. Belly fat keeps the liver from doing this efficiently, so blood sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. "Exercising helps the body burn this fat, but it is not enough," Bernstein tells WebMD. "People who have excess fat around the middle need to do all they can to reduce their waist size. That means exercising, eating a healthy diet, and cutting calories." “

Moms' Influence on Kids' Weight Starts in Pregnancy, Study Finds

Succimer Found Ineffective for Removing Mercury

Monday October 18 - October 24 2010

Are Cortisone Shots for Tendon Injuries Worth It? “"If we look at delaying recovery and [at] recurrence rates, then there is solid evidence, especially for the tennis elbow steroid injections, that they will delay recovery and there will be a high probability of recurrences beyond that if the patient had just adopted a wait-and-see policy [over 12 months]." “

Aspirin May Cut Colon Cancer Deaths “Low-dose aspirin takers have a 24% lower risk of colon cancer and a 35% lower risk of dying from colon cancer, find University of Oxford researcher Peter Rothwell and colleagues. “

Obesity is related to increased menopausal symptoms among Spanish women (Menopause Int 2010)

1 in 10 Child Athletes Injured, Experts Say “Sports participation among children and teens is a welcome trend, as it teaches teamwork and lays the groundwork for lifelong exercise, experts agree. Not so good, however, are the high rates of injury. About 38 million kids and teens in the United States are in organized sports, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. And about one in 10 needs medical attention for a sports injury, according to Safe Kids USA, an advocacy group. … "These kids are specializing in sports when they are 7 or 8," he said, and the trend is not healthy. He is against a child playing the same sport for 12 months straight because it invites overuse injuries. “

So That’s Why We’re Allergic to Sun Creams

Obesity in Kids Rises Around the World “The proportion of young children who are overweight or obese has increased about 60% in the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) says in a new report. The WHO says that in 1990, 4.2% of kids under age 5 were overweight or obese, but that figure grew to 6.7% in 2010. What's more, researchers say the prevalence will likely hit 9.1% in 2020, and that the problem is worse in developed nations than in developing ones. The prevalence in developed nations is 11.7%, compared with 6.1% in developing countries, but the trend is expected to pick up speed in developing regions over the next 10 years.”

Dietary Fructose and Hypertension. (Curr Hypertens Rep. 2010)

New Mothers Grow Bigger Brains Within Months of Giving Birth: Warmer Feelings Toward Babies Linked to Bigger Mid-Brains

Fructose Intolerance Common in Children With Functional Abdominal Pain; Low-Fructose Diet Is an Effective Treatment, Study Finds

Breast Cancer Seen as Riskier With Hormone “Hormone treatment after menopause, already known to increase the risk of breast cancer, also makes it more likely that the cancer will be advanced and deadly, a study finds.”

Anaphylaxis: A review and update (Can Fam Physician. 2010)

Fathers on fatty diet may give diabetes to daughters

"Caffeinating" children and youth

Coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea consumption and risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese men and women (J Epidemiol Community Health 2009) “Consumption of coffee, green tea and oolong tea and total caffeine intake was associated with a reduced risk of mortality from CVD.”

Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Asthma

Monday October 11 - October 17 2010

When Drugs Cause Problems They Are Supposed to Prevent “Something new is happening, said Daniel Carpenter, a government professor at Harvard who is an expert on the drug agency. The population is aging, many have chronic diseases. And companies are going after giant markets, huge parts of the population, heavily advertising drugs that are to be taken for a lifetime. And the way drugs are evaluated, with the emphasis on shorter-term studies before marketing, is not helping, Dr. Carpenter said. “Here is a wide-scale institutional failure,” he said. “We have placed far more resources and requirements upon premarket assessment of drugs than on postmarket.” “

Moms' Influence on Kids' Weight Starts in Pregnancy, Study Finds

Associations of Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Soda with Albuminuria and Kidney Function Decline in Women. (Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010) "Consumption of =2 servings per day of artificially sweetened soda is associated with a 2-fold increased odds for kidney function decline in women."

Siblings of Autistic Children May Also Have Subtle Traits “As many as one in five siblings of children with autism may have subtler problems with language and speech, according to new research involving nearly 3,000 children. What isn't yet clear is if these problems indicate a milder form of an autism spectrum disorder, or exactly what type of intervention, if any, might be needed to help these youngsters. "Smaller studies have reported that in families with children with autism, many children who don't have an autism diagnosis have had a language delay," said the study's lead author, Dr. John Constantino, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. "When we looked at this huge sample, we saw the same thing -- about 20 percent of children presumed to be non-autistic had language delays and autistic qualities in their speech. In the general population, the prevalence of these traits is only about 7 percent," he said. “

22.2% Of American Adults Diagnosed With Arthritis

RENEW: Intense Diet/Exercise Improves Weight, CV Risk Factors, in Severely Obese

Most Doctors Don't Follow Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

ACOG Guidelines for Treating Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnant Women Reviewed " "In about 35% of women who have this condition, nausea and vomiting are clinically significant, resulting in lost work time and negatively affecting family relationships. In a small minority of patients, the symptoms lead to dehydration and weight loss requiring hospitalization. The reported incidence of hyperemesis gravidarum is 0.3 to 1.0%; this condition is characterized by persistent vomiting, weight loss of more than 5%, ketonuria, electrolyte abnormalities (hypokalemia), and dehydration (high urine specific gravity)." "

Regional brain volume in depression and anxiety disorders. (Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010)

Shortfalls in carotenoid intake may impact women's health“Only about a third of American women are meeting their fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, which means they are likely missing out on potentially important breast and ovarian health benefits (1). Along with vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruits and vegetables contain a type of phytonutrient called carotenoids, which research suggests help support women's health including breast and ovarian health. “

Study Shows Vigorous Exercise Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women “Postmenopausal African-American women who exercise vigorously for more than two hours a week can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 64% compared to women of the same race who are sedentary, according to new research.”

Belly Fat Is Key to U.S. Diabetes Risk “Bernstein says fat that accumulates in the belly is particularly dangerous because it affects the organs involved in regulating blood sugar. Insulin stimulates the liver to store sugar in the blood for later use. Belly fat keeps the liver from doing this efficiently, so blood sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. "Exercising helps the body burn this fat, but it is not enough," Bernstein tells WebMD. "People who have excess fat around the middle need to do all they can to reduce their waist size. That means exercising, eating a healthy diet, and cutting calories." “

Colonoscopy may miss more than 7 percent of cancers“The team found that about eight percent, or one in every 13 cancers, had been missed during colonoscopies conducted six months to three years prior to diagnosis. Women were a third more likely to have had their cancer missed, report the researchers in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. And general practice physicians missed cancers 60 percent more often than gastroenterologists. There are three likely reasons for these "misses," noted Dr. David Lieberman of the Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland. Tumors may simply have gone unidentified on the exam, or were seen but not completely removed. While rare, he also noted that it is possible that an undetected cancer was actually not present at the exam, but rather grew very quickly afterwards.”

Can obsessions drive you mad? Longitudinal evidence that obsessive-compulsive symptoms worsen the outcome of early psychotic experiences. (Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010)"OCD and the psychosis phenotype cluster together and predict each other at (sub)clinical level. The co-occurrence of subclinical OC and psychosis may facilitate the formation of a more 'toxic' form of persistent psychosis."

Can early introduction of egg prevent egg allergy in infants? A population-based study.(J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010)" Introduction of cooked egg at 4 to 6 months of age might protect against egg allergy. Changes in infant feeding guidelines could have a significant effect on childhood egg allergy and possibly food allergy more generally."

3 ways to lower breast cancer risk, despite your DNA“The researchers chose to include exercise, BMI and alcohol intake in their definition of a healthy lifestyle, Gramiling said, as opposed to other factors such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables, because these criteria have shown the strongest evidence, based on previous studies, of having an impact on one's breast cancer risk.”

Tea polyphenols inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa through damage to the cell membrane. (Int J Food Microbiol. 2010)

Impacts of Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants on Semen Functions (Vet Med Int. 2011)

Red onions help you stay hale and hearty

Comprehensive Review of the Effects of Diabetes on Ocular Health (Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2010)

Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure, Study Finds

Young Teens Who Play Sports Feel Healthier and Happier About Life

Monday October 4 - October 10 2010

Chest Compression–Only CPR by Lay Rescuers and Survival From Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (JAMA. 2010) “Among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, layperson compression-only CPR was associated with increased survival compared with conventional CPR and no bystander CPR in this setting with public endorsement of chest compression–only CPR.”

Hands-Only CPR Saves More Lives in Cardiac Arrests

Loud Workplaces May Increase Heart Problems

Study Shows Vigorous Exercise Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women “Postmenopausal African-American women who exercise vigorously for more than two hours a week can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 64% compared to women of the same race who are sedentary, according to new research.”

Sleep Apnea Mask May Cause Subtle Facial Changes

Colonoscopy may miss more than 7 percent of cancers“The team found that about eight percent, or one in every 13 cancers, had been missed during colonoscopies conducted six months to three years prior to diagnosis. Women were a third more likely to have had their cancer missed, report the researchers in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. And general practice physicians missed cancers 60 percent more often than gastroenterologists. There are three likely reasons for these "misses," noted Dr. David Lieberman of the Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland. Tumors may simply have gone unidentified on the exam, or were seen but not completely removed. While rare, he also noted that it is possible that an undetected cancer was actually not present at the exam, but rather grew very quickly afterwards.”

Motor and Mental Symptoms of Parkinson's Reduce Life Expectancy

You don't have to hurt as you age! Eat broccoli and avoid arthritis

Migraine with Aura: More Bad News?

Cruciferous Vegetable Intake and Lung Cancer Risk: A Nested Case-Control Study Matched on Cigarette Smoking (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010) “After carefully controlling for cigarette smoking, higher intake of cruciferous vegetable was associated with lower risk of lung cancer.”

Bacteria to Blame in Asthma Attacks in Children, Research Suggests “"This indicates that bacteria can exacerbate asthma symptoms even if they aren't infected with a virus," Professor Bisgaard says. "The findings open up an entirely new method for treating severe asthma attacks. We can't treat viral infections, but scientists will now look into whether treatment with antibiotics can help children when they have an asthma attack if they are also suffering from a bacterial infection." "Being able to use antibiotics to treat asthma attacks in children would be revolutionary," Professor Bisgaard says.”

Monday September 27 - October 3 2010

Women's Study Finds Longevity Means Getting Just Enough Sleep “Kripke said the study should allay some people's fears that they're not getting enough sleep. "This means that women who sleep as little as five to six-and-a-half hours have nothing to worry about since that amount of sleep is evidently consistent with excellent survival. That is actually about the average measured sleep duration for San Diego women." Researchers uncovered other interesting findings as well. For example, among older women, obstructive sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep) did not predict increased mortality risk. "Although apneas may be associated with increased mortality risk among those under 60, it does not seem to carry a risk in the older age group, particularly for women," Kripke said.”

Blueberries Help Fight Artery Hardening, Lab Animal Study Indicates “Blueberries may help fight atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, according to results of a preliminary U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded study with laboratory mice. The research provides the first direct evidence that blueberries can help prevent harmful plaques or lesions, symptomatic of atherosclerosis, from increasing in size in arteries.”

Vitamin C Rapidly Improves Emotional State of Acutely Hospitalized Patients, Study Suggests “Patients administered vitamin C had a rapid and statistically and clinically significant improvement in mood state, but no significant change in mood occurred with vitamin D, the researchers discovered. Their results were published recently in the journal Nutrition.”

Epinephrine and its Use in Anaphylaxis: Current Issues (Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2010)

Cancer risk can be cut with good habits such as exercise and healthful eating “"The sedentary lifestyle is a big contributor to cancer, we now think," says Higginbotham - and not just because it leads to weight gain. Research is suggesting there's something risky about inactivity itself. The strongest evidence involves colon cancer. One review found that just getting exercise reduced colon cancer risk by 50 percent, regardless of the intensity of the workout. Even moderate exercise, such as brisk walking for three to four hours per week, was shown in one study to lower colon cancer risk. Thun believes exercise may speed up your digestive processes, so that food moves faster through your system. The quicker the transit times of food through the colon, the lower the risk of cancer. “

Multivitamin use and the risk of myocardial infarction: a population-based cohort of Swedish women. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010) “The use of multivitamins was inversely associated with MI, especially long-term use among women with no CVD. Further prospective studies with detailed information on the content of preparations and the duration of use are needed to confirm or refute our findings.”

When Niacin is a Drug “Niacin’s beneficial effect on blood cholesterol has been recognized for at least half a century. It does not reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as much as statins do, but one advantage of niacin is that it raises HDL (“good“) cholesterol substantially; statins raise HDL only modestly. No one is sure exactly how niacin works, but it does change the proportion of LDL to HDL in a favorable direction. It also decreases triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease. In clinical trials niacin has proved to reduce the risk of heart attacks, perhaps because it boosts HDL so much. Niacin may raise blood sugar slightly, but it is now considered safe for people with diabetes.”

Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. (Clin Nutr. 2010) “These data suggest that consumption of chocolate is inversely related with prevalent CHD in a general United States population.”

Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010)

Caffeine and Bladder Problems Linked “In Gleason’s study, women who reported taking in 329 milligrams of caffeine a day -- about three cups of coffee -- or more had a 70% higher likelihood of having the bladder problem. Urinary incontinence, or the unintentional loss of urine, affects more than 13 million Americans, mostly women. Women are most likely to develop it either during pregnancy or childbirth or with menopause and its hormonal changes, due to pelvic muscle weakness. But it's not a natural consequence of aging, experts say.”

Eight Cups A Day--And Other Water Myths

A Guide to Commercially-Bottled Water and Other Beverages “Commercially-bottled water labels reading "well water," "artesian well water," "spring water," or "mineral water" do not guarantee that the water does not contain Crypto.”

How much physical activity do older adults need?

Vitamin D Levels and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes (Diabetes Care 2010) “CONCLUSIONS In type 2 diabetic patients, severe vitamin D deficiency predicts increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, independent of UAER and conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Whether vitamin D substitution improves prognosis remains to be investigated.”

Exclusive Breast-Feeding for 6 Months May Protect Infants Against Common Infections

Kids with ADHD More Likely to Have Missing DNA

Dog Ownership Is Associated With Reduced Eczema in Children With Dog Allergies

Diabetes risk may fall as magnesium intake climbs “People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues found. The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk. However, large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists, the researchers note in Diabetes Care. It's plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out. Studies of magnesium and diabetes risk have had conflicting results, though.”

Ultrafine air particles may increase firefighters' risk for heart disease “"Firefighters simply can't avoid inhaling these ultrafine particles when they are not wearing their protective breathing apparatus and, unfortunately, they routinely remove it during overhaul," explains Stuart Baxter, PhD, a collaborator in the study and UC professor of environmental health.”

Stress of Returning to School Can Worsen Bed-Wetting: Expert

APA Releases Updated Treatment Guideline for Major Depression

Intakes of vitamins A, C, and E and use of multiple vitamin supplements and risk of colon cancer: a pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies. (Cancer Causes Control. 2010) “Modest inverse associations with vitamin C and E intakes may be due to high correlations with folate intake, which had a similar inverse association with colon cancer. An inverse association with multivitamin use, a major source of folate and other vitamins, deserves further study.”

What is central sleep apnea? (Respir Care. 2010)

Monday September 20 - September 26 2010

Type D Personality & Heart Risk “The personality classification system that identified "Type A" decades ago, more recently defined Type D as a personality marked by chronic negative emotions, pessimism and social inhibition. Researchers noted a three-fold increased risk of cardiovascular issues such as peripheral artery disease, angioplasty or bypass procedures, heart failure, heart transplantation, heart attack or death for Type D heart patients.”

Hot water hand washing a tepid tale

Lower Folate Levels Increase Risk for Depressive Symptoms, Particularly in Women

1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities has HIV; nearly half unaware

Manganese in Drinking Water: Study Suggests Adverse Effects on Children's Intellectual Abilities

News Review From Harvard Medical School -- Study: Mammograms Overrated as Lifesaver “The study found that regular mammograms reduced breast cancer deaths only 2% to 3%. The rest of the reduction came from better treatment, available in all counties. The New England Journal of Medicine published the study. …In recent years, some groups of experts have advised limiting mammography among women under age 50. Recent evidence has suggested little benefit for such screening. This change in advice has been controversial. This new study may stir even more controversy. After all, it argues that the benefits of mammography for all women are small at best.”

Toy Recall, Report Signal Small-Battery Dangers “Swallowing button batteries can be fatal or cause serious harm, and research suggests that severe injuries in children, though relatively scarce, are on the rise.”

Fast Food and Cheap Eats Associated With Kidney Disease “McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell … they all tempt us every day with their convenient locations, cheap prices, and tasty looks, but these foods are full of phosphates, which are shown to have adverse effects on people with kidney disease. A study done showed that people who don’t have the means to buy healthy food eat fast food more frequently, in turn worsening kidney disease. Phosphorus is a mineral found naturally in foods like milk, cheese, beans and peanut butter. It is vital for the formation of bones and teeth, as well as energy production and the formation of cell membranes. Since the kidneys excrete excess phosphate, patients with Chronic Kidney Disease may develop increased blood levels of phosphate, or hyperphosphatemia. Manufacturers add phosphates to foods to give them a longer shelf-life and make them more appealing.”

The Best Diet for Allergies and Hay Fever “In a study published in the journal Thorax, researchers found that Crete islanders who ate a Mediterranean diet had fewer allergies. They noted that diet staples such as nuts, grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoes were protective against allergies. The researchers also reported that eating margarine increased the risk of allergies and wheezing. This is because margarine is made with unhealthy fat that boosts inflammation.”

High Blood Sugar Levels Increase Infection Risk From General Surgery “"We wanted to find out how much increased glucose in your blood had a role in infection in general surgery," said lead researcher Ashar Ata, from the College's Department of Surgery. "Surprisingly, we did find that by the time your glucose is higher than 140 milligrams per deciliter, the infection went from 1.8 percent to almost 10 percent." When blood sugar levels reach that point, medical staff should intervene to control them, Ata said, adding, "We found the higher the blood glucose, starting at about 110 milligrams per deciliter, the more likely you are to have an infection."”

The effects of air pollution on vitamin D status in healthy women: A cross sectional study (BMC Public Health 2010) “The question addressed by this study was whether air pollution affects the blood level of 25-OH-D in healthy women. We found that the place of living, as a surrogate of air pollution, has a significant influence on vitamin D status. Hence, controlling air pollution levels will promote the body vitamin D status.”

Prenatal Omega-3s May Improve Kid's Vision

Traumatic Brain Injury — Football, Warfare, and Long-Term Effects

The Importance of Recess “It makes sense for children to have a break in the school day that is given over to free, unstructured, active play — the definition of recess. Prior research has shown that children are less fidgety and more attentive after recess. In 2007, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, a pediatrician at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote about the benefits of play on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He described play as essential for healthy brain development. In addition to promoting intelligence, it helps develop creativity, imagination and resilience. “

6 Best Foods You're Not Eating


Preventing Colon Cancer With Exercise

5 Common Signs of Parkinson's

Fish Oil Supplements—For Your Heart’s Sake

The 6 Most Common STDs in Men

Should You Try Phytotherapy for Your BPH? “If saw palmetto is going to work, it usually does so within the first month. Therefore, saw palmetto should be stopped if symptoms do not improve after a month of use. If saw palmetto does relieve symptoms, you may want to continue taking it, but inform your doctor that you are doing so. The typical dose of saw palmetto is 160 mg taken twice a day. Supplements that contain at least 85% free fatty acids and at least 0.2% sterols are the most likely to be effective.”

Characterization of consistent triggers of migraine with aura. (J.Cephalalgia. 2010)

Monday September 13 - September 19 2010

Mortality Risk Increased By 36 Percent By Use Of Medication For Insomnia Or Anxiety “A number of hypotheses have been put forward to explain the link between use of these medications and increased mortality. Sleeping pills and anxiolytics affect reaction time, alertness, and coordination and are thus conducive to falls and other accidents. They may also have an inhibiting effect on the respiratory system, which could aggravate certain breathing problems during sleep. These medications are also central nervous system inhibitors that may affect judgment and thus increase the risk of suicide.”

Does cleaning with antibacterial products reduce illness in your home? “Infectious diseases expert Dr Michael Whitby says no 'reputable research' has found that using antibacterial products to clean surfaces – such as bench tops, bathroom sinks and toilets – will cut sickness. (Much of the research into bacteria in the home is funded by the companies that make the antibacterial products.) "I'm not saying that inanimate surfaces don't spread disease. What I'm saying is that in the close relationship of a household, a lot of it [disease] is spread person to person, and cleaning the inanimate surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner is not going to help," Whitby says.”

Aerobic Exercise Relieves Insomnia “Exercise improved the participants' self-reported sleep quality, elevating them from a diagnosis of poor sleeper to good sleeper. They also reported fewer depressive symptoms, more vitality and less daytime sleepiness.”

Coal Ash: The toxic threat to our health and environment

Protect Your Colon From Diverticular Disease

Swimming Pool Chemicals May Carry Cancer Risk

Only 5% of Americans Engage in Vigorous Physical Activity on Any Given Day

Hormone Therapy: Is "Natural” Better?

Living to 100: What's the Secret?

Physical Activity Can Reduce the Genetic Predisposition to Obesity by 40 Percent, Study Finds “The authors say: "Our findings further emphasize the importance of physical activity in the prevention of obesity."”

Why an extra inch on the waist is a cancer risk

More Evidence That Glucosamine, Chondroitin Won't Help Ailing Joints “This latest report is one of several that have found no beneficial effect of either supplement in relieving arthritic pain. But since there is no evidence that the pills cause harm, the new report's authors say there's no reason to stop taking them if individuals think they are being helped.”

Brain Anomalies Found in Moms With Postpartum Depression “In a small study that involved MRI brain scans, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center revealed that women with postpartum depression have reduced activity in parts of the brain that control emotional responses and recognize emotional cues in others.”

Strong Grip May Mean Longer Life

Monday September 6 - September 12 2010

Breast-Feeding for Less Than 1 Month Linked to Increased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes “"Diet and exercise are widely known to impact the risk of type 2 diabetes, but few people realize that breastfeeding also reduces mothers' risk of developing the disease later in life by decreasing maternal belly fat."”

4 MRI Agents to Carry Warnings, 3 Agents Contraindicated for Patients With Kidney Disease

Is Hand Washing Enough to Stop the Spread of Disease? “Not drying your hands thoroughly after washing them, could increase the spread of bacteria and rubbing your hands whilst using a conventional electric hand dryer could be a contributing factor. Frequently people give up drying their hands and wipe them on their clothes instead, but hand-hygiene is a key part of infection control and drying hands after washing is a very important part of the process. … Our bodies naturally have bacteria called commensals all over them. However, bacteria from other sources, such as raw meat, can also survive on hands, and can be easily transferred to other surfaces, increasing the risk of cross-contamination. When hands are washed the number of bacteria on the surface of the skin decreases, but they are not necessarily eliminated. If the hands are still damp then these bacteria are more readily transferred to other surfaces. … Dr Snelling says: "Good hand hygiene should include drying hands thoroughly and not just washing. The most hygienic method of drying hands is using paper towels or using a hand dryer which doesn't require rubbing your hands together." “

Hooked on Headphones? Personal Listening Devices Can Harm Hearing, Study Finds “"The ear is going to be damaged throughout your lifetime; what we're seeing here resembles early onset age-related hearing loss -- you might think of it as prematurely aging the ear," he said. "I don't demonize headphones," said Fligor, who encourages moderation, not prohibition. At a reasonable volume -- conversational or slightly louder -- there's little risk, he said: "It's when you start overworking the ear that you get problems."”

Brain Cells -- Not Lack of Willpower -- Determine Obesity, Study Finds “Eating a high fat diet causes more "insulation" in the nerve cells, and makes it even harder for the brain to help a person lose weight. "Obese people are not necessarily lacking willpower. Their brains do not know how full or how much fat they have stored, so the brain does not tell the body to stop refuelling. Subsequently, their body's ability to lose weight is significantly reduced."”

Black Rice Rivals Pricey Blueberries as Source of Healthful Antioxidants

Chronic Insomnia With Objectively Measured Short Sleep Duration Is Associated With Increased Mortality In Men “Compared to men without insomnia who slept for six hours or more, men with chronic insomnia who slept for less than six hours were four times more likely to die during the 14-year follow-up period (odds ratio = 4.33). Results were adjusted for potential confounders such as body mass index, smoking status, alcohol use, depression and obstructive sleep apnea. Further adjustments for hypertension and diabetes had little effect on the elevated mortality risk (OR = 4.00). No significant mortality risk was found in women with insomnia and a short sleep duration of less than six hours (OR = 0.36).”

Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality (Annals 2010)

Psychological Violence During Pregnancy Linked to Postnatal Depression

Both Mothers and Fathers at Risk for Depression in First Year After Child's Birth

NSAID Use Associated With Future Stroke in Healthy Population “"First we found an increased risk of MI with NSAIDs. Now we are finding the same thing for stroke. This is very serious, as these drugs are very widely used, with many available over the counter," Gislason told heartwire . "We need to get the message out to healthcare authorities that these drugs need to be regulated more carefully." … Results showed that NSAID use was associated with an increased risk of stroke. This increased risk ranged from about 30% with ibuprofen and naproxen to 86% with diclofenac.”

What To Do About High Triglycerides

Are you getting essential nutrients from your diet?

Role of physical activity and diet in incidence of hypertension: a population-based study in Portuguese adults. (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010) “Conclusions:In Portuguese adults, after adjustment for several confounders, the development of hypertension was inversely associated with potassium and fruits/vegetables/pulses intake. A dose-response is inherent to these inverse associations.”

Monday August 30 - September 5 2010

Artificially Sweetened Soft Drinks Linked to Preterm Delivery

Exercise Can Treat Cardiovascular Disease as Well as Prevent It

Diverse Diet of Veggies May Decrease Lung Cancer Risk

Clinical guideline for the evaluation, management and long-term care of obstructive sleep apnea in adults. (NGC - 2009)

Widely Used Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Prostate Inflammation in Male Rats and Delays Puberty

Too Much Aluminum in Infant Formulas, UK Researchers Find

Drinking Water: Challenging the 8-Glasses-a-Day Myth

Playing With Pain Can Ruin Your Tennis Game

Oral bisphosphonates and risk of cancer of oesophagus, stomach, and colorectum: case-control analysis within a UK primary care cohort (BMJ 2010) “The risk of oesophageal cancer increased with 10 or more prescriptions for oral bisphosphonates and with prescriptions over about a five year period. In Europe and North America, the incidence of oesophageal cancer at age 60-79 is typically 1 per 1000 population over five years, and this is estimated to increase to about 2 per 1000 with five years’ use of oral bisphosphonates.”

Injection Therapy for Persistent Low Back Pain: When, Where, Why?

Association of Risk-Reducing Surgery in BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation Carriers With Cancer Risk and Mortality (JAMA. 2010)

Higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower relapse risk in multiple sclerosis (Annals of Neurology 2010)

Psychological treatments for fibromyalgia: A meta-analysis. (Pain. 2010)

Practical recommendations for treatment of hypertension in older patients. (Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2010) “Thiazide diuretics should be the first-line agents in uncomplicated, isolated systolic hypertension. Starting at low doses and proceeding in a gradual manner, these agents have proven efficacy in decreasing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular events. It is now recommended that these agents be used in low-dose combinations with other antihypertensive drug classes in patients who do not achieve target blood pressure (<140/90 mmHg).”

New Guidelines Issued for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders

Monday August 23 - August 29 2010

Parental Autoimmune Diseases Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring. (Epidemiology. 2010)

Moms Who Don't Breastfeed More Likely to Develop Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

Polyphenol Antioxidants Inhibit Iron Absorption “"Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency in the world, especially in developing countries where meats are not plentiful," said Han. "People at high risk of developing iron deficiency -- such as pregnant women and young children -- should be aware of what polyphenols they are consuming." “

Lose a Little Weight, Gain Some Continence

Diabetes can cause a sugar coating that smothers body's immune defences “The research found that high levels of glucose outcompetes the binding of mannose and fucose to the specialized immune receptors, potentially blocking these receptors from detecting infectious bacteria and fungi. Glucose also binds in such a way that it inhibits the chemical processes that would normally then follow to combat infections.”

Chocolate Intake and Incidence of Heart Failure: A Population-Based, Prospective Study of Middle-Aged and Elderly Women (Circulation: Heart Failure 2010)

Vit D linked to cancer, autoimmune disease genes

Salmonella Outbreaks Spur Nationwide Egg Recall

Acetaminophen: Teen Asthma Trigger?

Two Cups Of Water Before Each Meal Enhanced Weight Loss In Clinical Trial

Do This for 5 Minutes, Get 5 Years Younger “Researchers think it's the antioxidants in tea that help keep telomeres long. It's a beneficial chain reaction of sorts. Antioxidants fight diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease -- conditions that tend to damage cells. And when damaged, cells divide in order to repair injuries and the telomeres -- a finite resource -- shrink. Interestingly, the tea study showed telomere benefits only in men, possibly because cell-protecting hormones unique to women left less room for improvement.”

Is Bottled Tea Another Junk Drink? “Bottled tea is not only poor in levels of health-improving ingredients for which tea is famous, but it often contains high quantities of sugar and some other substances - substances the health-conscious consumer may be trying to avoid, Li pointed out. Li and team measured polyphenol levels in six brands of tea bought from supermarkets. Half of them contained "virtually no antioxidants" while the rest had small quantities of polyphenols which would most likely carry little health benefit, especially when the high sugar content was taken into consideration.”

Allergic Reactions, From Simple to Severe: Slideshow

Kidney Stones

Can Crash Diets Be a Good Way to Lose Weight? “Crash diets are a tempting way to lose weight fast, says Hensrud. But most experts agree that they're not worth the risk. Just one week of overly restrictive dieting can cause serious nutritional deficiencies, alter your metabolism, and undercut your emotional well-being. And most crash diets only set you up to regain the weight, since you haven't made any long-term lifestyle changes.”

Heat Illness Among High School Athletes --- United States, 2005—2009 (MMWR 2010)

Sunlight exposure or vitamin D supplementation for vitamin D-deficient non-western immigrants: a randomized clinical trial. (Osteoporos Int. 2010) “Vitamin D supplementation is more effective than advised sunlight exposure for treating vitamin D deficiency in non-western immigrants.”

Monday August 16 - August 22 2010

CDC: Nearly 1,100 Foodborne Outbreaks Reported Nationally In 2007

Revisiting Dietary Cholesterol Recommendations: Does the Evidence Support a Limit of 300 mg/d? (Current Atherosclerosis Reports 2010) “Clinical studies have shown that even if DC may increase plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in certain individuals (hyper-responders), this is always accompanied by increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, so the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio is maintained. More importantly, DC reduces circulating levels of small, dense LDL particles, a well-defined risk factor for CHD. This article presents recent evidence from human studies documenting the lack of effect of DC on CHD risk, suggesting that guidelines for DC should be revisited.”

Antagonistic people may increase heart attack, stroke risk

Change in Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adolescents (JAMA. 2010)

Even modest weight gain can harm blood vessels, Mayo researchers find “Among those who gained weight in their abdomens (known as visceral fat), even though their blood pressure remained healthy, researchers found that the regulation of blood flow through their arm arteries was impaired due to endothelial dysfunction. Once the volunteers lost the weight, the blood flow recovered. Blood flow regulation was unchanged in the weight-maintainers and was less affected among those who gained weight evenly throughout their bodies.”

Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis (BMJ 2010)

Bedbugs Biting All Over U.S.

Higher Intake of Fish, EPA, and DHA Linked to Less Depression in Teenage Boys

Sports-Related Repetitive Brain Trauma May Cause ALS-Like Disease

Higher Exercise Capacity Equals Improved Survival in Older Adults

1 in 5 U.S. teens has hearing loss, new study says

Love red meat? Cutting back just a bit helps heart “Now, a new study suggests that you don't have to cut out red meat altogether to improve your heart health. If you eat red meat more than once a day, cutting back to one serving every other day can substantially reduce your risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease, the study found.”

Low back pain symptoms show a similar pattern of improvement following a wide range of primary care treatments: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. (Rheumatology (Oxford). 2010) “Conclusions. NSLBP symptoms seem to improve in a similar pattern in clinical trials following a wide variety of active as well as inactive treatments.”

More Evidence Organophosphate Pesticides Raise ADHD Risk in Children “Organophosphate pesticides work by disrupting neurotransmitters, particularly acetylcholine, which is critical for brain development in humans and helps to sustain attention and short-term memory. Exposure to these compounds may also disrupt DNA replication and the growth of nerve axons and dendrites. Young children are more vulnerable to organophosphate exposure than adults because of lower levels of acetylcholinesterase, which detoxifies these pesticides, the study authors explained.”

Vitamin D May Treat Or Prevent Allergy To Common Mold

The Truth About Belly Fat “Study participants who ate all whole grains (in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry) lost more weight from the abdominal area than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains. "Eating a diet rich in whole grains while reducing refined carbohydrates changes the glucose and insulin response and makes it easier to mobilize fat stores," says study researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, a distinguished professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State University. "Visceral fat is more metabolically active and easier to lose than subcutaneous fat, especially if you have plenty of it and the right conditions are met, such as the ones in our study."”

12 Possible Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

History of Smoking is Associated with Younger Age at Diagnosis of Breast Cancer (The Breast Journal 2010)

A randomized trial of treatment for acute anterior cruciate ligament tears. (N Engl J Med. 2010)

Monday August 9 - August 15 2010

Smoking Cessation: An Integral Part of Lung Cancer Treatment. (JJ.Oncology. 2010) “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US. About 50% of lung cancer patients are current smokers at the time of diagnosis and up to 83% continue to smoke after diagnosis. A recent study suggests that people who continue to smoke after a diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer almost double their risk of dying. Despite a growing body of evidence that continued smoking by patients after a lung cancer diagnosis is linked with less effective treatment and a poorer prognosis, the belief prevails that treating tobacco dependence is useless.”

Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-analysis. (Diabetes Care. 2010) “Conclusions: In addition to weight gain, higher consumption of SSBs is associated with development of MetSyn, and T2DM. These data provide empirical evidence that intake of SSBs should be limited to reduce obesity-related risk of chronic metabolic diseases.”

Sugar-sweetened Carbonated Beverage Consumption Correlates with BMI, Waist Circumference, and Poor Dietary Choices in School Children (BMC Public Health 2010)

Drinking caloric beverages increases the risk of adverse cardiometabolic outcomes in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study (Am J Clin Nutr 2010) “Our findings suggest that higher SSB consumption is associated with cardiometabolic risk. Recommendations to limit consumption of these caloric beverages may help reduce the burden of these risk factors in US adult populations.”

Exercise Capacity and Mortality in Older Men. A 20-Year Follow-Up Study (Circulation 2010) “Conclusions—Exercise capacity is an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in older men. The relationship is inverse and graded, with most survival benefits achieved in those with an exercise capacity >5 METs. Survival improved significantly when unfit individuals became fit.”

Expensive New Blood Pressure Meds No Better Than Generics, According to Long-Term Data “But the diuretic still was superior in two measures: Compared with the diuretic group, the ACE inhibitor group had a 20 percent higher death rate from stroke, and the calcium channel blocker group had a 12 percent higher rate of hospitalizations and deaths due to heart failure. Diuretics, sometimes called "water pills," are the traditional medications for high blood pressure. They cause kidneys to remove sodium and water from the body, thereby relaxing blood vessel walls. ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril (brand names, Prinivil® and Zestril®) decrease chemicals that tighten blood vessels. Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (brand name, Norvasc®) relax blood vessels. Diuretics cost $25 to $40 per year, while newer brand-name hypertension drugs can cost $300 to $600 per year. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends patients control their blood pressure by first controlling their weight, exercising, reducing sodium, increasing potassium and drinking alcohol in moderation. The institute says that if lifestyle changes are not sufficient, diuretics then normally should be the drug of first choice. However, newer, higher-priced drugs are heavily marketed, and diuretics account for only about 30 percent of prescriptions written for high blood pressure medications, Whelton said.”

Breast cancer risk varies among different progestins used in hormone replacement therapy “Progestins are used in hormone replacement therapies to counteract the negative effects of estrogen on the uterus and reduce the risk of uterine cancer. However, evidence in recent studies and clinical trials has demonstrated that progestins increase the risk of breast cancer. Now, University of Missouri researchers have compared four types of progestins used in hormone replacement therapies and found significantly different outcomes on the progression of breast cancer in an animal model depending on the type of progestins used.”

Maternal smoking in pregnancy, adult adiposity and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (Atherosclerosis 2010) “Adults exposed to tobacco in utero had a more adverse CVD risk profile in mid-adulthood which appeared to reflect a lifetime accumulation of postnatal influences; whereas their higher BMI and central adiposity may be due in part to intrauterine mechanisms.”

Diuretic dose and long-term outcomes in elderly patients with heart failure after hospitalization. (Am Heart J. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Exposure to higher furosemide doses is associated with worsened outcomes and is broadly predictive of death and morbidity.”

Red meat consumption and risk of heart failure in male physicians. (Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that higher intake of red meat is associated with an increased risk of HF.”

Swimming with death: Naegleria fowleri infections in recreational waters (Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 2010)

CDC: Poultry No. 1 Culprit in Food Poisoning

Diabetics With Eye Disease: Nearly 1 in 3 “Nearly 30% of U.S. diabetics over age 40 have an eye disease linked to the condition, a study has found. This disease is known as diabetic retinopathy. For just over 4% of diabetics, it is severe enough to threaten their vision, the study found.”

Painters at Significantly Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer, Study Finds

Warning On Exertional Heat Stroke In High School Athletes

Too Little Sleep May Raise Heart Disease Risk

Sitting around shortens your life: Expending energy is beneficial to health

Superbug detected in health tourists from South Asia

Temperature Drops Lead to More MIs “He said there are messages from this research for both doctors and patients. "We need to think about simple, commonsense ways to reduce risk, such as advising people to wrap up warm, keep their homes well heated and insulated, and limit their time outdoors," he noted. Also, if people are taking medications regularly, such as aspirin, they may need extra reminders to take it during cold snaps, he suggested.”

Belly fat may double risk of death for older adults

Disease Prevention in Men

Colder days raise the risk of more heart attacks

Burning Candle at Both Ends Harmful?

Acetaminophen Use in Adolescents May Double Risk for Asthma “Acetaminophen use in adolescents is linked to development and/or maintenance of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema, according to the results of a global study reported online August 13 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.”

Chocolate for Blood Pressure Too Hard to Stomach, Researchers Say “Egan is keen to stress, however, that it is far too soon to be recommending dark chocolate as a treatment for high blood pressure. "Clearly more research is needed; we don't think the state of the art is there yet. The number of studies is relatively small, few people have been studied, and the number of products that have been investigated is also too small to be making general health recommendations for the world." Ried and her colleagues have also recently published a meta-analysis of 15 trials looking at this subject [4], and she says they too concluded that the studies "are too diverse to give confident answers on optimal dosage or duration of treatment." Their main finding, she says, "was that chocolate may help people with high blood pressure but not with normal blood pressure"--they found BP reductions of around 5 mm Hg systolic, which, "albeit modest, is comparable to the effects of 30 daily minutes of moderate exercise," she says.”

Eaten Alive: 5-Year Battle With Flesh-Eating Germ

Monday August 2 - August 8 2010

Meat consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: the Multiethnic Cohort. (Public Health Nutr. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the growing evidence that red and processed meat intake increase risk for diabetes irrespective of ethnicity and level of BMI.”

Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Blood Pressure (Southern Medical Journal 2010) “Oral vitamin D supplementation may lead to a reduction in systolic blood pressure but not diastolic blood pressure.”

Physical activity and the risk of stroke. (Expert Rev Neurother. 2010) “ … increasing levels of leisure-time physical activity in women tended to be associated with lower stroke risk, with a particular benefit of regular, brisk walking for those who did not vigorously exercise. The results reinforce recommendations that both men and women participate in regular, leisure-time physical activity.”

[Effect of diet and salt intake on the development of hypertension in children and adolescents] (Acta Med Croatica. 2010)

Dietary folate intake and the risk of 11 types of cancer: a case-control study in Uruguay. (Ann Oncol. 2010)

Women Don't Need to Delay Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage, Study Suggests

Resveratrol May Slow Aging in Humans

New study gives first indication that smog might trigger cell death in the heart

Prenatal Smoking Exposure and the Risk of Psychiatric Morbidity Into Young Adulthood (Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010) “Prenatal smoking exposure is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric morbidity, whereas prenatal exposure to more than 10 cigarettes a day increases the risk of mortality in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.”

When Snoring Is More Than an Annoyance

Slideshow: Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Lack of Food Puts Kids at Risk for Asthma, Other Chronic Ills

Fructose helps pancreatic cancer cells to multiply, UCLA study finds “Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same. Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found. They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, might help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types. “

As People Live Longer, More Will Develop Cataracts

Athletes Need to Protect Against Heat Stroke: Expert

Review Suggests Bias in Drug Study Reporting “Drug studies paid for by the pharmaceutical industry are more likely to publish favorable results than those funded by sources with no financial interest in the findings, a new review has found.”

Many dietary supplements are contaminated

Many Doctors Don't Report Incompetent Colleagues

Seven hours the magic number for sleep

Monday July 19 - August 1 2010 (two weeks, posted August 2)

Sunbed use during adolescence and early adulthood is associated with increased risk of early-onset melanoma. (Int J Cancer. 2010) “Among those who had ever used a sunbed and were diagnosed between 18-29 years of age, three quarters (76%) of melanomas were attributable to sunbed use. Sunbed use is associated with increased risk of early-onset melanoma, with risk increasing with greater use, an earlier age at first use and for earlier onset disease.”

After Stroke Scans, Patients Face Serious Health Risks “The cases come at a time when Americans are receiving more medical radiation than ever before, a result of rapid technological advancements that improve diagnosis but can also do harm when safeguards and oversight fail to keep pace. Even when done properly, CT brain perfusion scans deliver a large dose of radiation — the equivalent of about 200 X-rays of the skull. But there are no hard standards for how much radiation is too much. The overdoses highlight how little some in the medical profession understand about the operation of these scanning devices and the nature of radiation injuries, as well as the loose requirements for reporting accidents when they are detected. For a year or more, doctors and hospitals failed to detect the overdoses even though patients continued to report distinctive patterns of hair loss that matched where they had been radiated. After the Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide alert asking hospitals to check their radiation output on these tests, a few hospitals continued to overdose patients for weeks and in some cases months afterward, according to records and interviews. “

Chest Compressions Alone Best With CPR “If you haven't been well-trained in CPR and you see someone having what appears to be a heart attack, just doing chest compressions to help keep the blood flowing can be as effective as CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing, new research claims.”

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Arterial Stiffness in Black Teens “"Our study is the first clinical trial of vitamin D intervention to use 2,000 IU in black subjects and to include cardiovascular risk factors as outcomes in youth," said Dong. "Our study indicates that the current recommendations for vitamin D intake in black teenagers may need to be revised upward."”

Damp house linked to kids' risk of nasal allergies “However, Jaakkola said that based on other research, it is plausible that damp conditions in the house contribute to nasal allergies. Such conditions, he noted, encourage the growth of dust mites and fungi, and attract cockroaches -- all of which can serve as allergy triggers. Moisture may also boost the emission of chemicals from building materials, according to Jaakkola, and those chemicals could potentially create inflammation in the airways. The bottom line for parents, Jaakkola said, is that they would be wise to look out for signs of water damage at home. "In general, we should try to avoid dampness problems in homes and repair (damage) as soon as the problems appear," he noted, adding that parents of children who already have any form of allergy should be particularly careful to do so.”

Western diet link to ADHD “"We found a diet high in the Western pattern of foods was associated with more than double the risk of having an ADHD diagnosis compared with a diet low in the Western pattern, after adjusting for numerous other social and family influences," Dr Oddy said. "We looked at the dietary patterns amongst the adolescents and compared the diet information against whether or not the adolescent had received a diagnosis of ADHD by the age of 14 years. In our study, 115 adolescents had been diagnosed with ADHD, 91 boys and 24 girls." A "healthy" pattern is a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish. It tends to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, folate and fibre. A "Western" pattern is a diet with a trend towards takeaway foods, confectionary, processed, fried and refined foods. These diets tend to be higher in total fat, saturated fat, refined sugar and sodium. "When we looked at specific foods, having an ADHD diagnosis was associated with a diet high in takeaway foods, processed meats, red meat, high fat dairy products and confectionary," Dr Oddy said. "We suggest that a Western dietary pattern may indicate the adolescent has a less optimal fatty acid profile, whereas a diet higher in omega-3 fatty acids is thought to hold benefits for mental health and optimal brain function. "It also may be that the Western dietary pattern doesn't provide enough essential micronutrients that are needed for brain function, particularly attention and concentration, or that a Western diet might contain more colours, flavours and additives that have been linked to an increase in ADHD symptoms. It may also be that impulsivity, which is a characteristic of ADHD, leads to poor dietary choices such as quick snacks when hungry." “

Air pollution, asthma linked to suicide

ADHD, conduct disorder and smoking most strongly related to dropping out of high school

Age of Onset Influences Prognosis in Bipolar

Advice to rest in bed versus advice to stay active for acute low-back pain and sciatica (Cochrane Reviews 2010)

More Than Half of All ACL Reconstructions Could Be Avoided, Swedish Study Finds

Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Emergency Department Wait Times Continue to Rise

Are you sitting down? It's slowly killing you “More leisure time spent sitting was associated with higher risk of mortality, particularly in women. Women who reported more than six hours per day of sitting (outside of work) were 37 percent more likely to die during the time period studied than those who sat fewer than three hours a day. Men who sat more than six hours a day (also outside of work) were 18 percent more likely to die than those who sat fewer than three hours per day. The association remained virtually unchanged after adjusting for physical activity level. Associations were stronger for cardiovascular disease mortality than for cancer mortality. When combined with a lack of physical activity, the association was even stronger. Women and men who both sat more and were less physically active were 94 percent and 48 percent more likely to die during the study period, respectively, compared with those who reported sitting the least and being most active. "Several factors could explain the positive association between time spent sitting and higher all-cause death rates," Patel said. "Prolonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases."

Carpal tunnel syndrome. Part II: effectiveness of surgical treatments--a systematic review. (Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010)

Carpal tunnel syndrome. Part I: effectiveness of nonsurgical treatments--a systematic review. (Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010)

Darker Skin Doesn't Mean Melanoma Immunity

Antioxidants Do Help Arteries Stay Healthy “Long-term supplementation with dietary antioxidants has beneficial effects on sugar and fat metabolism, blood pressure and arterial flexibility in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism report these positive results in a randomized controlled trial of combined vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium capsules.”

No Pap Smears for Women Under 21: Guidelines “Pap smears in women under 21 do more harm than good, new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say. In most cases such tests reveal only human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, which rarely lead to cervical cancer in women under 21, said Dr. Mark Einstein of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (no relation) in the Bronx, New York.”

Those Who Exercise When Young Have Stronger Bones When They Grow Old “The researchers have therefore established that there is a positive link between exercise while young and bone density and size. The connection is even stronger if account is taken of the type of sports done. "The bones respond best when you're young, and if you train and load them with your own bodyweight during these years, it has a stimulating effect on their development," says Nilsson. "This may be important for bone strength much later in life too, so reducing the risk of brittle bones."”

Vitamin D Levels Associated With Parkinson's Disease Risk “Vitamin D is known to play a role in bone health and may also be linked to cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to background information in the article. "Recently, chronically inadequate vitamin D intake was proposed to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease," the authors write. "According to the suggested biological mechanism, Parkinson's disease may be caused by a continuously inadequate vitamin D status leading to a chronic loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain." “

Monday July 12 - July 18 2010

Periodontal bacteria and hypertension: the oral infections and vascular disease epidemiology study (INVEST) (Journal of Hypertension 2010) “Conclusion: Our data provide evidence of a direct relationship between the levels of subgingival periodontal bacteria and both SBP and DBP as well as hypertension prevalence.”

Superfoods A-Z

Cyberbullying Perpetrators and Victims at Risk for Physical and Psychiatric Problems “Both cyberbullies and their victims are likely to experience psychiatric and psychosomatic problems, according to a new study of more than 2000 Finnish adolescents that also found that 1 in 4 of those who had been victimized reported fearing for their safety. However, those who were both cybervictims and cyberbullies at the same time were the most troubled of all, report the investigators.”

Risk factors for ischaemic and intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke in 22 countries (the INTERSTROKE study): a case-control study (The Lancet 2010) “Our findings suggest that ten risk factors are associated with 90% of the risk of stroke. Targeted interventions that reduce blood pressure and smoking, and promote physical activity and a healthy diet, could substantially reduce the burden of stroke.”

Effects of age at first pregnancy and breast-feeding on the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis. (Menopause. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS:: Breast-feeding seems to significantly decrease the incidence of postmenopausal OPS. Women whose first pregnancy occurs after PBM (>/=27 y of age) and who have a history of breast-feeding had the lowest prevalence of OPS. Thus, an association between OPS and both breast-feeding and age of pregnancy seems to be present.”

Using Domestic Spoons to Give Children Medicine Increases Overdose Risk, Doctors Warn

Hospital infection deaths caused by ignorance and neglect, survey finds “Yet evidence suggests hospital workers could all but eliminate CRBSIs by following a five-step checklist that is stunningly basic: (1) Wash hands with soap; (2) clean patient's skin with an effective antiseptic; (3) put sterile drapes over the entire patient; (4) wear a sterile mask, hat, gown and gloves; (5) put a sterile dressing over the catheter site.”

Serum Vitamin D and the Risk of Parkinson Disease (Arch Neurol. 2010)

Sleep Plays Important Role in Chronic Disease: Report “7 to 8 hours is optimal for adults, but too much or too little raises health risks, study finds”

Obesity at Age 20 Linked to Early Death

MRI Superior to CT for Stroke “Diffusion MRI scans are better than CT scans at diagnosing strokes, according to a new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology. In one large study, among many that were reviewed for the guideline, stroke was accurately detected 83 percent of the time when an MRI was used compared to 26 percent of the time when a CT was used. MRI scans also detected lesions from strokes more accurately and helped identify the severity of some types of stroke.”

Predicting Risk Of Death From Prostate Cancer Via Baseline PSA

Greatly Increased Risk Of Reflux Disease Of Esophagus In Extremely Obese Children

Too Much Screen Time Can Threaten Attention Span “Too much time spent watching television and playing video games can double the risk of attention problems in children and young adults, new research finds.”

Monday July 5 - July 11 2010

Simple Massage Relieves Chronic Tension Headache, Study Finds

Lifesaving cancer drugs may put workers' lives at risk “The same powerful chemotherapy drugs that have saved hundreds of thousands of patients’ lives for decades have at the same time potentially taken a deadly toll on the hospital and clinic workers who handled them.”

High Fructose Diet May Contribute to High Blood Pressure, Study Finds “People who eat a diet high in fructose, in the form of added sugar, are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that cutting back on foods and beverages containing a lot of fructose (sugar) might decrease one's risk of developing hypertension.”

Low Vitamin D Linked to the Metabolic Syndrome in Elderly People “A new study adds to the mounting evidence that older adults commonly have low vitamin D levels and that vitamin D inadequacy may be a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects one in four adults.”

Adolescent Cyberbullies and Their Victims May Have Physical, Mental Health Problems

Abused Children Appear Likely to Have Mental Disorders as Young Adults

Cocoa Flavanols Improve Vascular and Blood Pressure Measures for Coronary Artery Disease Patients “A new study by UCSF cardiologists and researchers found that high concentrations of cocoa flavanols decrease blood pressure, improve the health of blood vessels and increase the number of circulating blood-vessel-forming cells in patients with heart disease. The findings indicate that foods rich in flavanols -- such as cocoa products, tea, wine, and various fruits and vegetables -- have a cardio-protective benefit for heart disease patients.”

Extremely Obese Children Have 40 Percent Higher Risk of Reflux Disease of Esophagus, Study Finds

Are hospitals deadlier in July?

Negative Perceptions of Menopause Contradicted by New Study

Inactivity 'No Contributor' to Childhood Obesity Epidemic, New Report Suggests “EarlyBird has already shown how the trajectory leading to obesity is established very early in life, long before children go to school, and how most childhood obesity is associated with obesity in the same-sex parent. While portion size, calorie-dense snacks and sugary drinks are all important contributors, early feeding errors seem crucial -- and physical activity is not the answer.”

Heart tests add to U.S. radiation dose concerns “"For many patients in the United States, there is a substantial cumulative radiation exposure from cardiac procedures," said Dr. Jersey Chen of Yale University School of Medicine, whose study appears in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. An advanced type of heart stress test called myocardial perfusion imaging, in which doctors inject a radioactive tracer in patients to test blood flow, accounted for 74 percent of radiation exposure from heart scans. Heart catheterization and stenting -- procedures in which thin tubes are fished through blood vessels to open blocked arteries -- were the second biggest contributor to radiation exposure, Chen said.”

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it": a commentary on the positive-negative results of the ACCORD Lipid study. (Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2010)

Overview of essential tremor (download article)

What Works in Falls Prevention After Stroke?. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Stroke 2010) “Fall risk is high in stroke survivors; however, the only intervention shown to be effective in reducing falls in this review was vitamin D supplementation.”

Green tea supplementation affects body weight, lipids, and lipid peroxidation in obese subjects with metabolic syndrome. (J Am Coll Nutr. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Green tea beverage consumption (4 cups/d) or extract supplementation (2 capsules/d) for 8 weeks significantly decreased body weight and BMI. Green tea beverage further lowered lipid peroxidation versus age- and gender-matched controls, suggesting the role of green tea flavonoids in improving features of metabolic syndrome in obese patients.”

History of Smoking is Associated with Younger Age at Diagnosis of Breast Cancer (The Breast Journal 2010)

The Utility of Breast MRI in the Management of Breast Cancer (The Breast Journal 2010)

15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore

The New HPV Test You Should Ask Your Doctor About

Medical tourism: first report of multiresistant bacteria after elective surgery in India

Obesity Rate Swells in 28 States

Knee Injury? Surgery Won't Cut Arthritis Risk

Monday June 28 - July 4 2010

Daily aspirin not recommended for diabetics younger than 50 “The American College of Cardiology Foundation, American Diabetes Assn. and American Heart Assn. recommend that physicians prescribe low-dose aspirin therapy (75 mg/day to 162 mg/day) to diabetic men older than 50 and diabetic women older than 60 who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Risk factors include a family history of the disease, smoking, hypertension, albuminuria and dyslipidemia.”

Summer bummer: Ocean swimming can make you sick

For Acute Low Back Pain, Staying Active May Be Better Than Bed Rest

Obesity Linked to Increased Cancer Mortality Risk in Asia/Pacific Region

ADHD prevalence and association with hoarding behaviors in childhood-onset OCD. (Depress Anxiety. 2010) “Conclusion: ADHD rates were elevated in this sample of individuals with childhood-onset OCD compared to the general population rate of ADHD, and there was a strong association between ADHD and clinically significant hoarding behavior. This association is consistent with recent studies suggesting that individuals with hoarding may exhibit substantial executive functioning impairments and/or abnormalities, including attentional problems.”

Mystery Unraveled: How Asbestos Causes Cancer

Going Barefoot in Home May Contribute to Elderly Falls “"Our findings show that older people going barefoot, wearing only socks, or wearing slippers may be at considerably increased risk of falls in their homes," says senior author Marian T. Hannan, D.Sc., M.P.H., co-director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute for Aging Research. "Therefore, older people should wear shoes at home whenever possible to minimize their risk of falling."”

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in the Womb Has Lifelong Impact, Study Finds “"These findings back up our previous conclusion that passive, or secondary, smoke causes permanent genetic damage in newborns that is very similar to the damage caused by active smoking," said Dr. Grant. "By using a different assay, we were able to pick up a completely distinct yet equally important type of genetic mutation that is likely to persist throughout a child's lifetime. Pregnant women should not only stop smoking, but be aware of their exposure to tobacco smoke from other family members, work and social situations."”

Adverse Events Associated with Testosterone Administration (NEJM 2010)

Prolonged and Exclusive Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Infectious Diseases in Infancy (Pediatrics 2010)

12 Possible Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

9 in 10 docs blame lawsuit fears for overtesting

A Repeat Call for the Banning of Asbestos

New Study: Avandia Riskier Than Actos “Older patients who take Avandia have a higher risk of death, heart failure, and stroke than patients taking Actos, a similar diabetes drug, a new study finds. It's far from the first study to address Avandia safety, but it's by far the largest to date, says FDA researcher and study leader David J. Graham, MD, MPH.”

90% in U.S. Get Too Much Salt; 5 Foods Blamed “But the CDC report identifies five foods that give Americans most of their salt: • Yeast breads • Chicken and mixed chicken dinners • Pizza • Pasta dishes • Cold cuts The three food groups from which we get the most sodium include some surprises: • Grains contribute 37% of our daily sodium. These foods include grain-based frozen meals and soups, breads, and pizza (which is mostly salty bread). • Meats, including poultry and fish, contribute 28% of our daily sodium. • Vegetables contribute more than 12% of our daily sodium. This seems surprising, but potato chips and french fries are vegetables. And canned vegetables, vegetable soups, and vegetable sauces tend to be loaded with salt. “

Exercise Alone Reduces Diabetes Risk in Obese Boys

Does chocolate reduce blood pressure? A meta-analysis (BMC Medicine 2010)

Monday June 21 - June 27 2010

Babies' First Bacteria Depend on Birthing Method, Says New Study

Arsenic water killing 1 in 5 in Bangladesh

Reusable Grocery Bags Can Breed E. Coli, Study Warns

Many Americans overtreated to death

Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray

Mediterranean Diet Helps Offset Bad Genes “A Mediterranean-style diet -- one that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated fats -- promotes heart function even in men who are genetically predisposed to poor heart health.”

Vitamin D May Cut Risk of Flu “Sabetta says vitamin D has known effects on the immune system, and the study reinforces the association between vitamin D deficiency and susceptibility to infections of the respiratory tract.”

Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and fish and risk of age-related hearing loss. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: There was an inverse association between higher intakes of long-chain n-3 PUFAs and regular weekly consumption of fish and hearing loss. Dietary intervention with n-3 PUFAs could prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss.”

Sodium Intake Among Adults --- United States, 2005-2006 (MMWR 2010)

Well-Defined Quantity of Antioxidants in Diet Can Improve Insulin Resistance, Study Finds

Breast-Feeding Until 4 Months May Protect Infants From Respiratory, GI Infections

Replacing White Rice With Brown Rice Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

Insufficient vitamin D tied to severe asthma attacks “The effects of vitamin D on the immune system, which include the inflammatory response to infections, might help explain why higher levels of the vitamin were linked to a lower risk of severe asthma exacerbations, according to Litongua's team. They say it's also possible that vitamin D enhances the effects of anti-inflammatory steroid hormones -- both the body's natural supply and the synthetic corticosteroids used to treat asthma. In this study, the beneficial association between vitamin D and asthma attacks was mainly seen in children who were on budesonide, a corticosteroid. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants, children and teenagers get 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Milk, breakfast cereals and orange juice fortified with the vitamin are the main food sources, though some fatty fish naturally contain high amounts of vitamin D. Experts recommend vitamin pills for children who do not get enough of the vitamin from food.”

This Is Your Brain. Aging.

Anxiety Predicts Heart Disease Years Later

Most Doctors Giving Pap Test Too Often

Flame Retardant May Up Risk of Thyroid Problems in Pregnancy “Exposure to flame-retardant chemicals may reduce a pregnant woman's levels of certain thyroid hormones that play a critical role in fetal brain development, a new study shows. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants are used in a large number of consumer products, including cars, electronics and home furnishings. PBDEs are found in the blood of most Americans, according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Insight in Schizophrenia: A Review. (Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2010)

Monday June 14 - June 20 2010

Untreated prostate cancer no death sentence “After about eight years, 20 percent of the men in the watchful waiting group had died, almost twice as many as in the treatment group. However, the number of deaths was no different than what would be expected in the general population. Less than three percent had actually died from prostate cancer, and those who weren't treated turned out also to be sicker in the first place. The researchers calculated that of those men with low-risk cancer, 2.4 percent would die from the disease within 10 years without treatment. While this number was about three times higher than in men who had had surgery or radiation therapy, it wasn't clear how much of the difference was due to worse general health in the men who didn't get treatment.”

Does this patient have a hemorrhagic stroke?: clinical findings distinguishing hemorrhagic stroke from ischemic stroke. (JAMA. 2010)

Magnetic resonance imaging for low back pain: indications and limitations (Postgrad Med J 2010)

Vitamin B6 Tied to Lowered Lung Cancer Risk “A new study shows that people with high levels of a B vitamin are half as likely as others to develop lung cancer. But while the reduction in risk is significant, this doesn't mean that smokers should hit the vitamin aisle instead of quitting. While the study links vitamin B6, as well as one amino acid, to fewer cases of lung cancer, it doesn't conclude that consuming the nutrients will reduce the risk. Future research is needed to confirm that there's a cause-and-effect relationship at work, not just an association, researchers said. “

INTERSTROKE: Ten Modifiable Risk Factors Explain 90% of Stroke Risk

Vitamin D Supplement Products: Medication Use Error “ISSUE: Some liquid Vitamin D supplement products are sold with droppers that could allow parents to accidentally give harmful amounts of Vitamin D to their infant. Excessive amounts of Vitamin D can be harmful to infants, and may be characterized by nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, muscle and joint aches, confusion, and fatigue, as well as more serious consequences like kidney damage.”

Mental Workouts Slow MS Memory Loss “"This study shows that a mentally active lifestyle might reduce the harmful effects of brain damage on learning and memory," study author James Sumowski, Ph.D., was quoted as saying.”

Exercise is associated with improved asthma control in adults. (Eur Respir J. 2010)

Coffee or Tea: Enjoy Both in Moderation for Heart Benefits, Dutch Study Suggests

Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements OK for Arteries “"This study provides reassuring evidence that moderate doses of calcium and vitamin D supplements do not increase calcium deposition in the coronary arteries. Thus, women need not avoid these supplements and sacrifice bone health due to concern about such a risk," Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a hospital news release.”

Smoking During Breast-Feeding Can Damage Baby

Vitamin D Deficiency Confirmed as Common Across a Range of Rheumatic Conditions “A further study assessing response to vitamin D supplementation found that taking the recommended daily dose did not normalise vitamin D levels in rheumatic disease patients.”

Getting Extra Sleep Improves the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Football Players

Aspirin for primary prevention: yes or no? (Journal of Primary Health Care 2010)

Treatment of allergic rhinitis. (Am Fam Physician. 2010) “Evidence does not support the use of mite-proof impermeable covers, air filtration systems, or delayed exposure to solid foods in infancy.”

Associations of depression with the transition to menopause. (Menopause. 2010)

Loop Diuretic Therapy in Heart Failure: The Need for Solid Evidence on a Fluid Issue. (Clin Cardiol. 2010)

Use of Oxygen in MI Patients Questioned by New Cochrane Review “There is no conclusive evidence from randomized controlled trials to support the routine use of inhaled oxygen in patients with acute MI, a new analysis in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concludes [1]. In fact, the review of available clinical-trial data suggests that oxygen might actually be harmful.”

Oxygen therapy for acute myocardial infarction. (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010)

Exercise May Ward Off Anger

10 Reasons to Take Nutritional Supplements

Heartburn pills may cause osteoporosis

Monday May 31 - June 13 2010 (two weeks)

A review of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder complicated by symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. (J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2010)

Valproic Acid in Pregnancy Linked to Several Congenital Malformations “A new study confirms that first-trimester exposure to valproic acid is associated with an increased risk for spina bifida compared with no use of antiepileptic drugs or with use of other antiepileptic drugs.”

A Weekly Bout of Eccentric Exercise Is Sufficient To Induce Health-Promoting Effects. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010)

Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old

Hip Exercises Found Effective at Reducing, Eliminating Common Knee Pain in Runners, Study Suggests

Chlamydia: The Hidden Dangers “The good news is that because chlamydia is caused by a bacterium, it can easily be cured with antibiotics. The bad news is you may not know you have it unless you get tested, because there may be few if any symptoms. About 75% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms at all.”

9 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Overtreated: Pain in the Back Widely Overtreated “The reality is that time often is the best antidote. Most people will experience back pain at some point, but up to 90 percent will heal on their own within weeks. In fact, for run-of-the-mill cases, doctors aren't even supposed to do an X-ray or MRI unless the pain lingers for a month to six weeks. Yet a study last year found nearly one in three aching Medicare patients get some kind of back scan within that first month. Why is that a problem? Those scans can be misleading. By middle age, most people who don't even have pain nonetheless have degeneration of their disks, those doughnut-looking shock absorbers between vertebrae. So in someone who does have pain, pinpointing that a particular black spot or bulge on a scan is the true cause is tricky. “

Biggest radiation threat is due to medical scans “Doctors don't keep track of radiation given their patients — they order a test, not a dose. Except for mammograms, there are no federal rules on radiation dose. Children and young women, who are most vulnerable to radiation harm, sometimes get too much at busy imaging centers that don't adjust doses for each patient's size. … He led an eye-opening study that found that U.S. heart attack patients get the radiation equivalent of 850 chest X-rays over the first few days they are in the hospital — much of it for repeat tests that may not have been needed.”

Exercise May Buffer Effects of Stress “Short bursts of vigorous exercise -- the kind that makes you really break a sweat and increases your heart rate -- may help buffer the devastating effects that stress can have on cellular aging, a new study finds. Brief bouts of vigorous physical activity reduced one of the key signs of cellular aging: telomere shortening. Telomeres are tiny strips of genetic material that look like tails on the ends of our chromosomes. Telomere shortening is a known indicator of aging in cells. The study appears in the May 26 online issue of PLoS ONE.”

Chronic Cholesterol Depletion using Statin Impairs the Function and Dynamics of Human Serotonin1A Receptors. (Biochemistry. 2010)

Muscle Injury from High Doses of Zocor

Outdoor Air Pollution as a Trigger for Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrests. (Epidemiology. 2010)

Air pollution and hospitalization for epilepsy in Chile. (Environ Int. 2010)

New Statement Urges Caution for Primary-Prevention Aspirin in Diabetics

Headaches Due to External Compression (Current Pain and Headache Reports 2010)

Many Bipolar Patients Face Other Conditions, Too “People with bipolar disorder are two to four times as likely as people without the disorder to suffer from various skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema, researchers report. They're also 2.6 times more likely to have hypothyroidism, 2.3 times more likely to have hay fever, 90% more likely to suffer from migraine headaches, 60% more likely to have viral hepatitis, 60% more likely to be obese, 40% more likely to have asthma, and 40% more likely to have epilepsy than other people, says Jared A. Fisher, MPH, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md. "We think some of these conditions may be side effects of the drugs used to treat bipolar disorder," he tells WebMD. "For example, lithium can cause psoriasis, and some mood stabilizers have been linked to hypothyroidism." Others may share a common causal factor with bipolar disorder, he says. For example, some research shows that bipolar disorder, increased body weight, and hypertension are all related to elevated norepinephrine levels.”

FDA tests lipsticks, finds lead in all

Coffee's Jolt Just an Illusion?

Study confirms link between migraines and stroke “People who suffer migraines are about twice as likely as people without the painful headaches to suffer a stroke caused by a blood clot, a new research review finds. The analysis, which combined the results of 21 previous studies, confirms a connection between migraines and ischemic stroke -- the most common form of stroke, occurring when a clot disrupts blood flow to the brain. Across the studies, migraine sufferers were about twice as likely to suffer an ischemic stroke as people without migraines, according to findings published in the American Journal of Medicine.”

Calcium Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer

Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Is Associated With Reduced Blood Pressure. A Prospective Study Among United States Adults (Circulation 2010)

Agreement Regarding Diagnosis of Transient Ischemic Attack Fairly Low Among Stroke-Trained Neurologists. (Stroke. 2010)

EWG 2010 Sunscreen Guide

Some carbs worse for your heart than saturated fat

Nomogram Predictive of Which Female Athletes Are High-Risk for ACL Tears

Combination of Conduct Disorder and ADHD Predictive of Substance Abuse “"Dr. Wilens answers convincingly that the vast majority of ADHD children will not abuse drugs later, but if the child has more severe, more oppositional, behaviors we have to acknowledge that he may be heading for a life of trouble," he continued.”

Multiple sclerosis and solar exposure before the age of 15 years: case–control study in Cuba, Martinique and Sicily (Multiple Sclerosis 2010) “We conclude that outdoor leisure activities in addition to sun exposure reports are associated with a reduced multiple sclerosis risk, with evidence of dose response.”

New cancer guidelines: Exercise during and after treatment is now encouraged “Cancer patients and survivors should strive to get the same 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise that is recommended for the general public, the panel says. Though the evidence indicates that most types of physical activity – from swimming to yoga to strength training -- are beneficial for cancer patients, clinicians should tailor exercise recommendations to individual patients, taking into account their general fitness level, specific diagnosis and factors about their disease that might influence exercise safety. Cancer patients with weakened ability to fight infection, for instance, may be advised to avoid exercise in public gyms. One persistent area of concern for cancer patients is change in body mass -- both weight gain and weight loss tied to disease symptoms and treatment side effects. Patients with hormone-based tumors, breast and prostate cancers, tend to gain weight during treatment and frequently have difficulty losing it. Other patients, especially those with gastrointestinal tumors, suffer from weight loss brought on by loss of appetite and changes in their ability to swallow and properly digest food. The new guidelines indicate that both groups can benefit from exercise. Studies show, for instance, that exercise for weight control and reduction in body mass may actually reduce the risk of recurrence for breast cancer patients, and ultimately decrease breast cancer mortality. For patients suffering from cancer-related weight loss, physical activity helps to maintain lean body mass, which can contribute to increased strength and well being.”

Calcium Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer

New urine test spots prostate cancer

'Button' Batteries Killing, Disabling Children “The accidental swallowing of coin-sized lithium "button batteries" found in many common household products is a rapidly mounting threat to children, new research indicates. In fact, a pair of new studies reveals that between 1985 and 2009 the risk that American children will experience a serious health complication after ingesting a button-battery has gone up nearly seven-fold. "We're talking about a really profoundly devastating injury, and sometimes fatalities," said lead author for both studies Dr. Toby Litovitz, director of the National Capital Poison Center in Washington D.C. "But I think people are not aware of the problem, which is very, very much worse than swallowing a coin. And of course it's hard for parents to protect their kids when they don't realize that something is a problem." “

Monday May 24 - May 30 2010

ED a Red Flag for Heart Attack, Strokes “Erectile dysfunction is an early warning sign of heart disease and may provide a window of opportunity to stave off heart attacks and strokes, according to a review article in the June issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice. Men with erectile dysfunction typically develop heart-related symptoms within two to three years, and they are at risk of experiencing a cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke within three to five years, the study shows.”

Depression Affects Kids as Young as 3

The Truth About Vitamin D: Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D?

99,000 Die Yearly From Preventable Hospital Infections

Osteoarthritis Claims Growing Number of Younger Victims “Most early onset osteoarthritis appears to be tied to exercise and sports. People are playing harder at younger ages and potentially doing themselves harm by not protecting their joints. Another study, this one presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, found that people engaged in high levels of physical activity sustained more severe knee injuries, including such damage as fluid buildup in bone marrow and lesions on their cartilage and ligaments. Such injuries drastically increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis, according to the researchers.”

Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Fracture Risk, FDA Warns

Q: Are all over-the-counter pain medications safe?

Indoor Tanning Poses Melanoma Risk; There Are No Safe Devices “"No device is safe," said Dr. Lazovich, dispelling the belief that UVB devices are not carcinogenic. In general, melanoma risk increased with use, whether it was measured in hours, sessions, or years. For instance, 1 to 9 hours of lifetime tanning resulted in a 46% increased risk (adjusted OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.15 - 1.85). But 50 or more hours resulted in a 3-fold increased risk (adjusted OR, 3.18; 95% CI, 2.28 - 4.43). This study is the largest of its kind to date and "advances what we already knew on this subject," said Dr. Lazovich. Among the things the study revealed for the first time is the fact that there is a "dose-response relationship" between the amount of time spent indoor tanning and melanoma risk, and the fact that certain devices are riskier than others, she noted.”

Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey (BMJ 2010)

If you don't brush your teeth twice a day, you're more likely to develop heart disease

Heavy Alcohol Use, Binge Drinking, Might Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer, Researcher Reports

The 12 Most Pesticide Polluted Fruit and Veggies

C-Reactive Protein and Risk of Lung Cancer (Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010) “Conclusion Elevated CRP levels are associated with subsequently increased lung cancer risk, suggesting an etiologic role for chronic pulmonary inflammation in lung carcinogenesis. “

When Patients Meet Online, Are There Side Effects?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men

IVF, Fertility Drugs Might Boost Autism Risk

Pregnant Women Should Limit Intake Of BPA-Contaminated Foods, Study States “The study found that 92% of metal cans are contaminated with BPA and that the concentration of the chemical can "vary dramatically" between two cans of the same product. For example, the researchers found that one can of Del Monte French Style Green Beans contained 36 micrograms of BPA per serving, while a second can of the identical product contained 138 micrograms -- a level that has been linked to changes in prostate cells and increasingly aggressive behavior in animals.”

Canadian Bottled Water High in Bacteria “They found more than 70 percent of popular brands tested did not meet the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) specifications for drinking water. "Heterotrophic bacteria counts in some of the bottles were found to be in revolting figures of 100-times more than the permitted limit," Sonish Azam, a researcher involved in the study, was quoted as saying. However, Azam says these bacteria most likely do not cause disease, but they could pose a risk for populations such as pregnant women, infants and the elderly.”

Sun Exposure While Driving Linked to Cancer

Monday May 17 - May 23 2010

Exercise May Keep Cancer Patients Healthier During, After Treatment

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides (Pediatrics 2010)

Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Incident Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Mellitus. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Circulation 2010)

The prevalence of headache may be related with the latitude: a possible role of Vitamin D insufficiency? (The Journal of Headache and Pain 2010)

Effect of antibiotic prescribing in primary care on antimicrobial resistance in individual patients: systematic review and meta-analysis (BMJ 2010)

Unnamed eating disorders may go untreated “Anorexia and bulimia are probably the most familiar types of eating disorders , but they are not the most common. Some 50 to 60 percent of patients don't quite make the cut to be diagnosed with full-blown anorexia or bulimia, and are instead classified as having an eating disorder "not otherwise specified" (EDNOS).”

Lithium: Still a Cornerstone in the Long-Term Treatment in Bipolar Disorder? (Neuropsychobiology. 2010)

Sedentary Behaviors and Abnormal Glucose Tolerance among Pregnant Latina Women (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2010)

Massage Impairs Postexercise Muscle Blood Flow and "Lactic Acid" Removal (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2010)

Locally Acquired Dengue — Key West, Florida, 2009–2010 (MMWR 2010)

What Are Flavonoids?

Mold Exposure

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Your Colon Cancer Diagnosis

New Dads Hit by Depression as Often as Moms

Heavy caffeine intake may mean smaller babies

Particulate Air Pollution Affects Heart Health, Research Finds

Regular Use of Aspirin Increases Risk of Crohn's Disease by 5 Times, Study Finds “"Aspirin does have many beneficial effects, however, including helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. I would urge aspirin users to continue taking this medication since the risk of aspirin users possibly developing Crohn's disease remains very low -- only one in every 2000 users, and the link is not yet finally proved." “

6 Daily Habits That May Make You Sick

A healthier, fitter YOU — Simple strength training tips

Diabetes ups risk of abnormal heart rhythm

Breast Cancer Metastasis Increases After Estrogen and Progestin Hormone Therapies, Study Finds

Eating Processed Meats, but Not Unprocessed Red Meats, May Raise Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes, Study Finds “In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found that eating processed meat, such as bacon, sausage or processed deli meats, was associated with a 42% higher risk of heart disease and a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, the researchers did not find any higher risk of heart disease or diabetes among individuals eating unprocessed red meat, such as from beef, pork, or lamb.”

Monday May 10 - May 16 2010

Pesticides in kids linked to ADHD “Exposure to pesticides used on common kid-friendly foods — including frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery — appears to boost the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, new research shows. Youngsters with high levels of pesticide residue in their urine, particularly from widely used types of insecticide such as malathion, were more likely to have ADHD, the behavior disorder that often disrupts school and social life, scientists in the United States and Canada found. “

Heartburn drugs Prilosec, Nexium can raise risk of fractures in postmenopausal women: studies

The overdiagnosis of bipolar disorder. (J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2010)

Exposure to Ultrasound in Utero: Epidemiology and Relevance of Neuronal Migration Studies. (Ultrasound Med Biol. 2010) “The present knowledge of the potential bioeffects of ultrasound suggests that, when using ultrasound for examinations in pregnancy, fetal scanning without medical indication should be avoided and that adherence to ALARA principle (use of energy "as low as reasonably achievable") is compulsory.”

Exercise therapy for schizophrenia. (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010)

Schizophrenia: Regular Exercise Guidelines Still Apply

Nasal Saline Rinses Reduce Ear Infections in Kids

Beneficial effects of melatonin in cardiovascular disease. (Ann Med. 2010)

Frequency of Headaches in Children is Influenced by Headache Status in the Mother (Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 2010)

High fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of future hypertension determined by home blood pressure measurement: the OHASAMA study (Journal of Human Hypertension 2010)

[Psychosis: from diagnosis to syndrome] (Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2010) “The diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with demonstrable alterations in brain structure and changes in dopamine neurotransmission, the latter being directly related to hallucinations and delusions. Antipsychotics, which block the dopamine system, are effective for delusions and hallucinations but less so for disabling cognitive and motivational impairments.”

The treatment effect of exercise programmes for chronic low back pain. (J Eval Clin Pract. 2010)

The effectiveness of walking as an intervention for low back pain: a systematic review. (Eur Spine J. 2010)

Low vitamin D tied to depression in older people

Diabetics: Eat Bran to Live Longer

Parental Involvement Key to Preventing Child Bullying

ACIP Issues New Guidelines for Use of Combination Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella Vaccine

Produce Safety

Iatrogenic Gastric Acid Suppression and the Risk of Nosocomial Clostridium difficile Infection (Arch Intern Med. 2010) “Conclusions Increasing levels of pharmacologic acid suppression are associated with increased risks of nosocomial C difficile infection. This evidence of a dose-response effect provides further support for the potentially causal nature of iatrogenic acid suppression in the development of nosocomial C difficile infection.”

Hidden Chemicals in Popular Perfumes

Aspirin Dosing for the Prevention and Treatment of Ischemic Stroke: An Indication-Specific Review of the Literature (Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2010)

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

The Vitamin Deficiency You May Not Know You Have “"If you're low on vitamin D, your immune system does not function as well or you're more susceptible to infections,” said Dr. Richard Honaker, a family practice physician. “There's a greater incidence of heart attacks and strokes in people that are vitamin D-deficient versus people who are OK on their vitamin D levels.” “

Vitamin D Deficiency In Pregnant Arab Women Requires Urgent Attention

Vigorous exercise strengthens hip bones in young children

Monday May 3 - May 9 2010

Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in an Anxiety Disorders Population. (CNS Neurosci Ther. 2010)

Decision Making in Adults With ADHD. (J Atten Disord. 2010)

Predicted 25-hydroxyvitamin D score and incident type 2 diabetes in the Framingham Offspring Study. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that higher vitamin D status is associated with decreased risk of T2D. Maintaining optimal 25(OH)D status may be a strategy to prevent the development of T2D.”

Googling children's health: reliability of medical advice on the internet. (Arch Dis Child. 2010)

Surgery "should be last resort for obese children" “In a review of studies on the obesity epidemic, scientists from Britain and the United States said lifestyle changes such as better diet and more exercise should always be the first option, and treatment with drugs should be used rarely. Bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, such as operations to apply gastric bands to limit the stomach size of severely overweight people, should be a last resort, they said.”

Maternal Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy and Risk of Childhood Leukemia: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (ancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010) “Conclusions: The results of case-control studies indicate that maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a significantly increased risk of AML in young children.”

Lifetime Physical Activity and Risk of Endometrial Cancer (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev May 2010)

Estrogen and Progestogen Use in Postmenopausal Women: 2010 Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society (Menopause. 2010)

Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds “"This is an important finding for patients being treated for vitamin D deficiency," study senior author Dr. Angelo Licata said in a news release from the Cleveland Clinic. "By doing something as simple as changing when you take your vitamin D supplement, you can improve the level in your blood by over 50 percent." “

Aspirin May Increase Risk of Crohn's Disease “"If the link with aspirin is a true one, then only a small proportion of those who take aspirin -- approximately one in 2,000 -- may be at risk," said study author Dr. Andrew Hart, a senior lecturer in gastroenterology at University of East Anglia School of Medicine. "If aspirin has been prescribed to people with Crohn's disease or with a family history by their physician, then they should continue to take it. Aspirin has many beneficial effects and should be continued."”

Being Obese Can Attract Bullies

Smoking While Pregnant May Raise Psychiatric Risks in Kids “A woman who smokes while pregnant increases her baby's risk of developing psychiatric problems in childhood and young adulthood, a new Finnish study suggests. While there's plenty of evidence that smoking during pregnancy puts unborn children at risk for long-term health problems such as asthma, ear infections and respiratory disease, this research is among the first to find a connection between prenatal smoking and an increased risk for mental illnesses, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, in the mother's offspring.”

Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with lung cancer risk among smokers: a case-control study. (BMC Cancer. 2010)

Caffeine intake and semen quality in a population of 2,554 young Danish men. (Am J Epidemiol. 2010)

The Coffee-Cholesterol Connection “Diterpene compounds in coffee beans—notably cafestol—are responsible for the cholesterol-raising effect. The longer the coffee grounds come in contact with the brewing water, and the hotter the water, the greater the amount of diterpenes released. Scandinavian-style boiled coffee has the most diterpenes, studies have shown—followed by Turkish/Greek coffee, French-press (cafetière or plunger-pot) coffee, and then espresso. American-style “drip” coffee has virtually none because the paper filters trap the compounds. Percolated and instant coffees also have negligible amounts. Decaffeinating coffee does not reduce diterpenes.”

The Truth About Vitamin D

Monday April 26 - May 2 2010

Swaddling Effects Could Pose SIDS Risk: Study

Dietary Folate and Vitamin B6 and B12 Intake in Relation to Mortality From Cardiovascular Diseases. Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (Stroke. 2010) “Conclusions—High dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were associated with reduced risk of mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure among Japanese.”

Primary Prevention of Colorectal Cancer (Gastroenterology 2010) “For example, several studies have shown that high intake of red and processed meats, highly refined grains and starches, and sugars is related to increased risk of colorectal cancer. Replacing these factors with poultry, fish, and plant sources as the primary source of protein; unsaturated fats as the primary source of fat; and unrefined grains, legumes and fruits as the primary source of carbohydrates is likely to lower risk of colorectal cancer. Although a role for supplements, including vitamin D, folate, and vitamin B6, remains uncertain, calcium supplementation is likely to be at least modestly beneficial. With respect to lifestyle, compelling evidence indicates that avoidance of smoking and heavy alcohol use, prevention of weight gain, and maintenance of a reasonable level of physical activity are associated with markedly lower risks of colorectal cancer. Medications such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and postmenopausal hormones for women are associated with substantial reductions in colorectal cancer risk, though their utility is affected by associated risks.”

Focus on Fiber “The idea that fiber protects against colon cancer was first proposed many years ago when researchers found that Africans who ate high fiber diets had a low incidence of colon cancer. Since then dozens of studies have supported the protective role of fiber. There are plenty of reasons fiber might lower colon cancer risk: Fiber increases fecal bulk and may dilute potential cancer-causing substances; fiber reduces the time the stool spends in the intestine, which might limit the colon's exposure to carcinogens. Fiber may also alter the intestinal environment in other beneficial ways. Yet, several recent studies have cast doubt on the theory that fiber protects against colon cancer. “

[False diagnoses of strokes in emergency departments] (Rev Neurol. 2010)

Vitamin D in pill form may cut breast cancer risk “The researchers found no relationship between overall vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk; nor was there any association between overall calcium intake and risk of the disease. However, women who reported taking at least 400 international units of vitamin D every day were at 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.”

Sun-shy mothers may raise MS risk in babies: study “Children whose mothers had low exposure to sunlight during their first three months of pregnancy may have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life, a study in Australia has found. Low vitamin D levels have long been linked to a higher risk of MS. Experts suspect an expectant mother's lack of exposure to sunlight - the main source of vitamin D - may affect the fetus's central nervous system or immune system, and predispose it to developing MS later in life. In the Australian study, researchers combed birth records of 1,524 MS patients born between 1920 and 1950, and found there were more of them born in the months of November and December. This means their first trimester occurred during the winter months of April to June, a time when expectant mothers in the southern hemisphere may prefer to be indoors to escape the cold. Conversely, there were far fewer MS patients who were born in May and June - meaning their first trimesters were in the early summer months of September to November.”

Researchers Recommend Pregnant Women Take 4,000 IU Vitamin D a Day “Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy is not only safe for mother and baby, but also can prevent preterm labor/births and infections, according to results of a randomized controlled study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.”

Why Cholesterol Damages Arteries: Cholesterol Crystals Lead to Life-Threatening Inflammation in Blood Vessel Walls

Better Vitamin D Status Could Mean Better Quality of Life for Seniors

Olfactory dysfunction, central cholinergic integrity and cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease. (Brain. 2010)

Alberta Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Prevention Trial: Sex Hormone Changes in a Year-Long Exercise Intervention Among Postmenopausal Women (J. Clin. Oncol. 2010) “Conclusion This trial found that previously sedentary postmenopausal women can adhere to a moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise program that results in changes in estradiol and SHBG concentrations that are consistent with a lower risk for postmenopausal breast cancer.”

Aspirin Dosing for the Prevention and Treatment of Ischemic Stroke: An Indication-Specific Review of the Literature (Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2010)

4 Diseases Doctors Get Wrong

When Niacin Is a Drug

Internet first choice for many women seeking medical information

The Remarkable Effects Of Fat Loss On The Immune System

Is Medical Advice on the Internet Reliable?

More Than A Third Of The U.S. Population Carry Obesity Gene Which Can Lead To Brain Tissue Loss

Indoor Tanning Addiction Linked to Anxiety, Drug Abuse “Indoor tanning can be addictive, and people who are hooked on tanning beds may also be prone to anxiety and substance abuse problems, according to a new study in the Archives of Dermatology.”

Bad Habits Can Age You by 12 Years, Study Suggests “Four common bad habits combined - smoking, drinking too much, inactivity and poor diet - can age you by 12 years, sobering new research suggests.”

Combined Unhealthy Behaviors Associated With 4-Fold Increased Risk for Death “Smoking, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and alcohol consumption, when their effect is considered collectively, appear to be associated with a substantially increased risk for death, according to a new study.”

Multivitamins May Cut Breast Cancer Risk “Multivitamins and calcium supplements may help protect women against breast cancer, new research suggests. In a study of more than 700 women, taking multivitamin tablets in the past five years was associated with 31% lower odds of having breast cancer. The use of calcium supplements was linked to a 40% reduced risk.”

Multivitamin Use and Breast Cancer: Protective or Harmful?

Genital Herpes Affects Approximately 16% of Americans Aged 14 to 49 Years “Among those infected with HSV-2, 81.1% had not been diagnosed. Women and non-Hispanic blacks had the highest seroprevalence (20.9% and 39.2%, respectively), with prevalence among women almost twice that of men and prevalence 3 times higher among blacks than whites. Prevalence was lowest among Mexican-Americans. These data reinforce findings from previous research indicating that racial disparities are likely perpetuated because of the higher prevalence of infection within black communities, the authors note in a statement. As a result, they add, blacks are at greater risk of exposure to genital herpes with any given sexual encounter.”

Breast Cancer Risk Tied To Grandmother's Diet “"The implications from this study are that pregnant mothers need to eat a well balanced diet because they may be affecting the future health of their daughters and granddaughters," says de Assis.”

Monday April 19 - April 25 2010

Maternal docosahexaenoic acid-enriched diet prevents neonatal brain injury (Neuropathology 2010) “Our findings indicate that maternal DHA-enriched diet during pregnancy provides neuroprotection by inhibiting oxidative stress and apoptotic neuronal death. Dietary supplementation of DHA during pregnancy may thus be beneficial in preventing neonatal brain injury.”

Migraine prevalence by age and sex in the United States: A life span study (Cephalalgia 2010)

Low Free Testosterone Predicts Frailty in Older Men: The Health in Men Study. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010)

Moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular disease risk: beyond the "French paradox". (Semin Thromb Hemost. 2010) “The term FRENCH PARADOX was coined in 1992 to describe the relatively low incidence of cardiovascular disease in the French population, despite a relatively high dietary intake of saturated fats, and potentially attributable to the consumption of red wine. After nearly 20 years, several studies have investigated the fascinating, overwhelmingly positive biological and clinical associations of red wine consumption with cardiovascular disease and mortality. Light to moderate intake of red wine produces a kaleidoscope of potentially beneficial effects that target all phases of the atherosclerotic process, from atherogenesis (early plaque development and growth) to vessel occlusion (flow-mediated dilatation, thrombosis).”

Breast-feeding in relation to asthma, lung function, and sensitization in young school children. (J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Breast-feeding for 4 months or more seems to reduce the risk of asthma up to 8 years. At this age, a reduced risk was observed particularly for asthma combined with sensitization. Furthermore, breast-feeding seems to have a beneficial effect on lung function.”

Olive oil during pregnancy is associated with reduced wheezing during the first year of life of the offspring. (J.Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010)

Does Nighttime Noshing Make You Fat?

How Your Home Affects Your Health

Meat, Especially If It's Well Done, May Increase Risk of Bladder Cancer “People who eat meat frequently, especially meat that is well done or cooked at high temperatures, may have a higher chance of developing bladder cancer, according to a large study that The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010. This risk appears to increase in people with certain genetic variants.”

History of Severe Headache Linked to Increased Risk for White Matter Lesions in the Elderly

Vitamin and calcium supplements may reduce breast cancer risk “Vitamins and calcium supplements appear to reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010. "It is not an immediate effect. You don't take a vitamin today and your breast cancer risk is reduced tomorrow," said Jaime Matta, Ph.D., professor in the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. "However, we did see a long-term effect in terms of breast cancer reduction." Matta said the findings suggest that the calcium supplements are acting to enhance DNA repair capacity, a complex biological process involving more than 200 proteins that, if disrupted, can lead to cancer. “

Chlamydia Often Overlooked in Young Men

Studies Confirm Link Between Breast Density and Cancer

Study Shows Added Sugars Hurt Cholesterol Levels

Caloric Sweetener Consumption and Dyslipidemia Among US Adults (JAMA. 2010)

Examples of Sodium Levels in Some Foods

Gene makes people fat, raises Alzheimer's risk “A variant of an obesity gene carried by more than a third of the U.S. population also reduces brain volume, raising carriers' risk of Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Monday. People with a specific variant of the fat mass and obesity gene, or FTO gene, have brain deficits that could make them more vulnerable to the mind-robbing disease. "The basic result is that this very prevalent gene not only adds an inch to your waistline, but makes your brain look 16 years older," said Paul Thompson, a professor of neurology at the University of California Los Angeles, who worked on the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

Secondhand Smoke Boosts Sinusitis Risk “Exposure to secondhand smoke appears to substantially raise the risk for chronic sinusitis, a new Canadian study has found. In fact, it might explain 40 percent of the cases of the condition, said study author Dr. C. Martin Tammemagi, a researcher at Brock University in Ontario.”

Tooth loss and periodontal disease predict poor cognitive function in older men. (J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Risk of cognitive decline in older men increases as more teeth are lost. Periodontal disease and caries, major reasons for tooth loss, are also related to cognitive decline.”

Monday April 12 - April 18 2010

Childhood obesity and adult morbidities. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010)

Short Bursts of Physical Activity May Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Citrus consumption and cancer incidence: the Ohsaki cohort study (International Journal of Cancer 2010) “These findings suggest that citrus consumption is associated with reduced all-cancer incidence, especially for subjects having simultaneously high green tea consumption. Further work on the specific citrus constituents is warranted, and clinical trials are ultimately necessary to confirm the protective effect.”

Role of hormone therapy in the management of menopause. (Obstet Gynecol. 2010)

Adherence to vitamin D recommendations among US infants. (Pediatrics. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that most US infants are not consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D according to the 2008 AAP recommendation. Pediatricians and health care providers should encourage parents of infants who are either breastfed or consuming <1 L/day of infant formula to give their infants an oral vitamin D supplement.”

Residential Pesticides and Childhood Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010) “Conclusions: Positive associations were observed between childhood leukemia and residential pesticide exposures.”

Sedentary Behaviors Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2010)

Formaldehyde Exposure and Asthma in Children: A Systematic Review (Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010) “Acute exposure to formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation, whereas long-term exposure has been associated with certain cancers (e.g., sinonasal) as well as asthma (Daisey et al. 2003). Exposure to formaldehyde occurs in certain occupational settings (e.g., embalmers), but exposure via formaldehyde-emitting products such as particle board, urea formaldehyde insulation, carpeting, and furniture is more common (Garrett et al. 1999). … Conclusions: Results indicate a significant positive association between formaldehyde exposure and childhood asthma.”

Should You Join This Tea Party?

Vitamin D3 Supplements in Winter May Help Protect Against Influenza A

The downside of 'friends with benefits'

Childhood Obesity Interventions Must Begin Early, Experts Say

Spanking May Make a Child More Aggressive “Spanking children when they're 3 seems to lead to more aggressive behavior when they're 5, even if you take into account the child's initial level of aggression. In other words, the old "I'll-give-you-something-to-cry-about" approach appears to backfire, new research suggests. "We all know that children need guidance and discipline, but parents should focus on positive, non-physical forms of discipline, such as time-outs, and avoid spanking," said study author Catherine Taylor, an assistant professor of community health sciences at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. Corporal punishment, of which spanking is a relatively minor form, can have larger implications as well, according to experts.”


Teen Drinking May Boost Breast Problems Later “Frequent alcohol consumption by teenage girls may increase the chances that they will develop non-cancerous breast disease in their 20s and possibly breast cancer later in life. Research published online April 12 in the journal Pediatrics found that girls who drank the most alcohol during their teen years -- daily or nearly every day -- were five times more likely to develop benign breast disease as young adults than were their peers who never drank or drank less than once a week. Benign breast disease (BBD) includes a number of nonmalignant conditions. Fibroadenoma, a noncancerous tumor, is the most common in those aged 30 and younger. Study co-author Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said that benign breast disease is known to boost the risk for breast cancer.”

Diet High in B Vitamins Lowers Heart Risks in Japanese Study “Eating more foods containing the B-vitamins folate and B-6 lowers the risk of death from stroke and heart disease for women and may reduce the risk of heart failure in men, according to Japanese research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.”

Monday April 5 - April 11 2010

Intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence and incidence of proliferative benign breast disease (Cancer Causes and Control 2010) “These findings support the hypothesis that dietary intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence influences subsequent risk of breast disease and may suggest a viable means for breast cancer prevention.”

Slide show: Causes of back pain

Risk of Newborn Heart Defects Increases with Maternal Obesity “The more obese a woman is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the likelihood that she will give birth to an infant with a congenital heart defect, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the New York state Department of Health. The researchers found that, on average, obesity increases a woman’s chance of having a baby with a heart defect by around 15 percent. The risk increases with rising obesity. Moderately obese women are 11 percent more likely to have a child with a heart defect, and morbidly obese women are 33 percent more likely.”

Too many pregnancy pounds ups future obesity risk “Women who gained too much weight during their pregnancy, based on the IOM's guidelines, were twice as likely to be overweight later on, and had a more than four-fold increased risk of being obese. The relationship didn't change even after the researchers accounted for factors such as whether a woman exercised during pregnancy or how long she breastfed her baby.”

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Linked to High Prevalence of Epilepsy “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) refers to a range of negative developmental outcomes that result from maternal drinking during pregnancy. Children with FASD can suffer from many problems, including epilepsy, a disorder characterized by spontaneous recurrence of unprovoked seizures that affects 0.6 percent of the general population. A new study has found a much higher prevalence of epilepsy or history of seizures in individuals with FASD.”

Smoking Is Dumb: Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs, Study Finds

Obesity, Hypertension, Alcohol and Diuretic Use: Gout Risk Factors for Women

Trends, Major Medical Complications, and Charges Associated With Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in Older Adults (JAMA. 2010) “Conclusions Among Medicare recipients, between 2002 and 2007, the frequency of complex fusion procedures for spinal stenosis increased while the frequency of decompression surgery and simple fusions decreased. In 2007, compared with decompression, simple fusion and complex fusion were associated with increased risk of major complications, 30-day mortality, and resource use.”

Unneeded, riskier spinal fusion surgery on rise “A study of Medicare patients shows that costlier, more complex spinal fusion surgeries are on the rise — and sometimes done unnecessarily — for a common lower back condition caused by aging and arthritis. What's more alarming is that the findings suggest these more challenging operations are riskier, leading to more complications and even deaths.”

Being overweight ups stroke risk, study confirms “People who were overweight were 22 percent more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than normal weight people, while the risk for obese people was 64 percent higher, the researchers found. Hemorrhagic stroke risk wasn't higher for overweight people, but it was 24 percent higher for obese people.”

Walking shrinks women's stroke risk “Women who said they walked briskly had a 37 percent lower risk of stroke than those who didn't walk. Women who reported walking at least two hours a week at any pace had a 30 percent lower risk, according to a study published online Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.”

MRSA Found in 4% of Healthcare Workers; Most Are Healthcare-Related Strains

FAQ: Radiation Risk From Medical Imaging

1 Hour Daily Exercise Fights 'Fatso' Gene in Teens “One hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day can help teens beat the effects of a common obesity-related gene with the nickname "fatso," according to a new European study. The message for adolescents is to get moving, said lead author Jonatan Ruiz of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. "Be active in your way," Ruiz said. "Activities such as playing sports are just fine and enough." The study, released Monday, appears in the April edition of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The research supports U.S. guidelines that tell children and teenagers to get an hour or more of physical activity daily, most of it aerobic activity such as running, jumping rope, swimming, dancing and bicycling. Scientists are finding evidence that both lifestyle and genes cause obesity and they're just learning how much diet and exercise can offset the inherited risk. “

Relationship among age, race, medical funding, and cervical cancer survival. (J Natl Med Assoc. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Age at diagnosis (> or = 65 years), but not medical funding or race, was correlated with suboptimal cervical cancer screening pattern and poor survival.”

New Debate on Breast Removal to Prevent Cancer

Gonorrhea Getting Harder to Treat “A new study shows that treating gonorrhea is becoming more difficult because the bacterium has become resistant to many antibiotics. If trends continue, researchers say there is a very real possibility that some strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae may become resistant to all current treatment options.”

Monday March 29 - April 4 2010

Prolonged breastfeeding reduces risk of breast cancer in Sri Lankan women: A case-control study. (Cancer Epidemiol. 2010) “Principle results: Multivariate analysis found that those women who breastfed for >/=24 months during lifetime had significantly lower risk of breast cancer than those who breastfed for less than 24 months (OR=0.40; 95%CI=0.22, 0.73). Compared to 0-11 months of lifetime breastfeeding, there was a 66.3% reduction in breast cancer risk in women who breastfed for 12-23 months, 87.4% reduction in 24-35 months and 94% reduction in 36-47 months categories. The mean duration of breastfeeding per child for >/=12 months was also associated with reduced risk of breast cancer (OR=0.52; 95%CI=0.28, 0.94).”

Radon in Residential Buildings: A Risk Factor for Lung Cancer

Unequal Leg Length Tied to Osteoarthritis, Study Finds

Intake of fish and marine n–3 fatty acids in relation to coronary calcification: the Rotterdam Study (Am J Clin Nutr 2010) “Conclusions: We found a weak inverse association between fish intake and coronary calcification. If confirmed in other population-based studies, more research is warranted to determine which components in fish can inhibit vascular calcification.”

Magnesium May Reduce Men’s Colon Cancer Risk

Children in Intensive Care Should Be Screened for MRSA “Community-acquired, drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming more common among children in hospital intensive care units, so patients should be screened when they're admitted and weekly thereafter, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 6 percent of the 1,674 children admitted to the pediatric ICU unit at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center between 2007 and 2008 were colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This means the children carried MRSA even though they didn't have an active infection -- and they could have unknowingly infected other patients.”

Excess Weight Raises Risk for Liver Disease “Comment: Add liver disease to the long list of detrimental health effects (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer) of excess body weight. Data from these two studies also suggest that excess body weight and alcohol consumption act synergistically to cause liver disease. Given the high prevalence of overweight and obesity, these results have obvious public health implications.”

To Supplement or Not to Supplement? “Foods are complex, and the nutrients within them interact in different and more beneficial ways than they would in supplements, she said. Also, many foods contain healthy dietary fiber, which isn't part of a multivitamin supplement, she said. "Food is still the ideal," Boyar said, stressing that she means "whole foods" -- those that are not processed or are as minimally processed as possible. Yet Boyar and other nutrition experts concede that supplements can often fill dietary gaps. That's particularly true, she said, for vitamin D and calcium, especially as people age. She also cited iron, which is often needed by premenopausal women, who lose it with their monthly periods. And, for women of childbearing age, folate supplements have been shown to help prevent birth defects. Overuse of supplements, though -- and particularly megadoses -- worries health experts. Megadoses of vitamin E, for instance, are particularly hazardous, Boyar said.”

Study links chemical exposure to breast cancer “After taking account of the usual factors associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, the analysis indicated a link between occupational exposure to several of these substances, Labreche's team wrote. Compared with the comparison group, the risk peaked for exposures before the age of 36, and increased with each additional decade of exposure before this age, they found. This meant women who were exposed to acrylic fibers appeared to run a seven-fold risk of breast cancer, while those exposed to nylon fibers almost doubled their risk.”

Living Without Gluten May Be Easier Than You Think

Parental Stroke Associated With 3-Fold Increased Risk for Stroke in Offspring “Parental stroke before the age of 65 years is associated with a 3-fold increased risk for stroke in offspring, according to new data from the Framingham Heart Study. These findings suggest that "a reliable family history can serve as a 'poor man's genetic risk score' providing a simple, aggregate estimate of an individual's genetic risk," lead author Seshadri Sudha Seshadri, MD, with Boston University in Massachusetts, told Medscape Neurology. The results are published in the March 23 issue of Circulation.”

Overweight babies may have delayed motor skills “Still, without examining other groups of infants for months and years, researchers won't know whether excessive weight or body fat causes delayed motor skills in older children, they note.”

Adherence to Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction in men with type 2 diabetes “In men with type 2 diabetes, greater adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower prevalence of ED.”

HPV Might Not Act Like Other STDs

1 In 10 Chinese Have Diabetes

Bacterial Vaginosis: An Update on Diagnosis and Treatment (Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009)

Dietary intake of folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and riboflavin and risk of Parkinson's disease: a case-control study in Japan. (Br J Nutr. 2010) “In conclusion, in the present case-control study in Japan, low intake of vitamin B6, but not of folate, vitamin B12 or riboflavin, was independently associated with an increased risk of PD.”

Mom's cavities can spread to baby “As it turns out, studies about the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mom to baby have been published for 30 years. The primary culprit is Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.”

Monday March 22 - March 28 2010

Vitamin B6 and Risk of Colorectal Cancer (JAMA. 2010) “Conclusion Vitamin B6 intake and blood PLP levels were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in this meta-analysis.”

Dietary vitamin K intake in relation to cancer incidence and mortality: results from the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Heidelberg). (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010) “CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that dietary intake of menaquinones, which is highly determined by the consumption of cheese, is associated with a reduced risk of incident and fatal cancer.”

Diesel Exhaust Associated With Lethargy in Offspring “Breathing diesel exhaust during pregnancy is associated with sluggishness in offspring.”

Are Hand Sanitizers Better Than Handwashing Against the Common Cold? “"The ethanol-containing hand disinfectants were significantly more effective than hand washing with water or with soap and water for removal of detectable rhinovirus for the hands in this study," say the researchers. "Furthermore, a formula containing organic acids and ethanol resulted in residual activity that significantly reduced virus recovery from the hands and rhinovirus infection for up to 4 hours after application."”

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Prompts Considerably More Weight Gain, Researchers Find “In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.”

Community-Acquired MRSA Becoming More Common in Pediatric ICU Patients “Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is a virulent subset of the bacterium and impervious to the most commonly used antibiotics. Most CA-MRSA causes skin and soft-tissue infections, but in ill people or in those with weakened immune systems, it can lead to invasive, sometimes fatal, infections.”

Physical Activity and Weight Gain Prevention (JAMA 2010) “Conclusions Among women consuming a usual diet, physical activity was associated with less weight gain only among women whose BMI was lower than 25. Women successful in maintaining normal weight and gaining fewer than 2.3 kg over 13 years averaged approximately 60 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity throughout the study.”

Curbing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 38 French Hospitals Through a 15-Year Institutional Control Program (Arch Intern Med. 2010)

Urinary and anal incontinence during pregnancy and postpartum: incidence, severity, and risk factors. (Obstet Gynecol. 2010)

Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Incontinence “Not getting enough vitamin D may cause women problems in the bathroom as well as with their bones. A new study suggests vitamin D deficiency may contribute to pelvic floor disorders like urinary and fecal incontinence. “Higher vitamin D levels were associated with a decreased risk of any pelvic floor disorder in all women,” write researcher Samuel Badalian, MD, PhD, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., and colleagues in Obstetrics & Gynecology. “Given the increase in the number of patients with pelvic floor disorders, further evaluation of the role of vitamin D is warranted.” Researchers say one in four women suffers from at least one type of pelvic floor disorder, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and fecal incontinence, and the risks of developing these disorders increase with age. They say the results suggest that treatment of vitamin D deficiency in women could improve pelvic muscle strength and reduce the risk of pelvic floor disorders, especially incontinence. “

The truth about the hormone leptin and obesity. “Leptin is a protein that's made in the fat cells, circulates in the bloodstream, and goes to the brain. "Leptin is the way your fat cells tell your brain that your energy thermostat is set right," Lustig says. "Leptin tells your brain that you have enough energy stored in your fat cells to engage in normal, relatively expensive metabolic processes," he says. "In other words, when leptin levels are at a certain threshold -- for each person, it's probably genetically set -- when your leptin level is above that threshold, your brain senses that you have energy sufficiency, which means you can burn energy at a normal rate, eat food at a normal amount, engage in exercise at a normal rate, and you can engage in expensive processes, like puberty and pregnancy". But when people diet, they eat less and their fat cells lose some fat, which then decreases the amount of leptin produced. "Let's say you starve, let's say you have decreased energy intake, let's say you lose weight," Lustig says. "Now your leptin level goes below your personal leptin threshold. When it does that, your brain senses starvation. That can occur at any leptin level, depending on what your leptin threshold is." "Your brain senses that and says, ‘Hey, I don't have the energy onboard that I used to. I am now in a starvation state,'" Lustig says. Then several processes begin within the body to drive leptin levels back up. One includes stimulation of the vagus nerve, which runs between the brain and the abdomen. "The vagus nerve is your energy storage nerve," Lustig says. "Now the vagus nerve is turned on, so you get hungrier. Every single thing the vagus nerve does…[is] designed to make you take up extra energy and store it in your fat. Why? To generate more leptin so that your leptin can re-establish its personal leptin threshold... It causes you to eat and it causes you to get your leptin back to where it belongs." “

Older Women Need To Exercise “Normal-weight women who want to prevent weight gain as they age need to do an hour a day of moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, a study shows. Over the years, some experts have suggested it takes that much to control weight, but this is one of the first large-scale studies to examine the question.”

C Difficile Surpasses MRSA as the Leading Cause of Nosocomial Infections in Community Hospitals

How a man can get to 85

Medicines washing down the shower

Specialty may bias doctors' prostate cancer advice “New research suggests that the type of specialist a prostate cancer patient sees -- rather than the patient's own preference -- may determine the treatment he receives. This is problematic, the study's authors say, because none of the options now available for treating localized prostate cancer have been shown to be any better than the others. "The different treatments for prostate cancer...entail different side effects, different recovery profiles, and they require different time commitments," Dr. Thomas L. Jang of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health. For this reason, he and his colleagues say, it should be the patient's preferences -- rather than the physician's specialty -- that guides treatment decisions.”

Eat More Veggies “Now there's another good reason to eat your vegetables. A recent study suggests that a high intake of vegetables such as spinach, peas, and Brussels sprouts can reduce your risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).”

10 Worst Plants for Your Allergies

Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids “The pesticide chlorpyrifos is associated with delays in the physical and mental development of young children, a new study shows. The product is banned in U.S. households but is widely used as an agricultural pesticide on fruits and vegetables. The agricultural use of chlorpyrifos is currently under review by the Environmental Protection Agency. This study included 266 children in low-income areas of the South Bronx and Northern Manhattan in New York City. Chlorpyrifos was commonly used in these neighborhoods until it was banned for household use in 2001.”

High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Liver Scarring “New research links consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, the extremely popular sweetener that shows up in food products from ketchup to jelly, to liver damage in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It's not clear if the sweetener directly causes liver scarring, also known as fibrosis, but those who consumed more of the sweetener appeared to have more liver scarring, according to the report released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Hepatology.”

Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk

Kids Not Only Obese, They're Extremely Obese “Extreme obesity has reached ''alarming'' levels among children, according to a new study that looked at the weights and heights of more than 710,000 children aged 2 to 19. ''The prevalence of extreme obesity was much higher than we thought," says the study's lead author, Corinna Koebnick, PhD, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, a large prepaid health plan. ''Seven percent of boys and 5% of girls -- that is scary," she tells WebMD. That was the overall prevalence of extreme obesity she found. Before the study findings, Koebnick says, she would have expected perhaps 3% to 5%. And the 7% and 5% figures are overall. For some ethnic groups, the prevalence of extreme obesity was much higher -- up to nearly 12%.”

Monday March 15 - March 21 2010

Sciatica (Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology 2010) “Although the term sciatica is simple and easy to use, it is, in fact, an archaic and confusing term [1]. For most researchers and clinicians, it refers to a radiculopathy, involving one of the lower extremities, and related to disc herniation (DH). As such, the term ‘sciatica’ is too restrictive as nerve roots from L1 to L4 may also be involved in the same process. However, even more confusing is the fact that patients, and many clinicians alike, use sciatica to describe any pain arising from the lower back and radiating down to the leg. The majority of the time, this painful sensation is referred pain from the lower back and is neither related to DH nor does it result from nerve-root compression. Although differentiating the radicular pain from the referred pain may be challenging for the clinician, it is of primary importance. This is because the epidemiology, clinical course and, most importantly, therapeutic interventions are different for these two conditions.”

Helping a Person During a Seizure - Topic Overview

Do You Need Extra Protein If You Exercise?

Study: Those Who Stay Fit Have Longer Sex Lives

Death, CVD Risk Declines in People Who "Normalize" Vitamin-D Levels “Adding heft to the hypothesis that vitamin-D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, a new study has found that people with low vitamin-D levels who managed to normalize their levels were significantly less likely to develop cardiovascular events over up to six years of follow-up.”

Smoking Magnifies Genetic Risk for Intracranial Aneurysm

CT scan use 'risk to children' “A RADIOLOGY expert is urging doctors to obtain formal written consent from parents before ordering CT scans on children, warning that the risk of a single scan triggering a fatal cancer is 70 times greater than the chance of dying from a general anaesthetic. Soaring rates of CT scan ordering by doctors in general triggered a national alert by the Medicare watchdog, which warned that patients were being exposed to unnecessary cancer risks by being given scans for complaints as trivial as back pain. CT, or computed tomography, involves hundreds of times more radiation than a simple X-ray. Statistical analysis suggests 430 cancer deaths a year may be due to ionising radiation from both procedures. Radiology expert John de Campo has warned that the risks of CT scans for young people up to the age of 20 are much higher than for adults, because their cells are dividing more rapidly and more easily damaged, and because they have more remaining years of life for a fatal cancer to develop.”

CDC: Genital Herpes Rates Still High “One in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes and close to one in two black women are infected, new figures from the CDC reveal. … "It is important that we promote steps to prevent the spread of genital herpes, not only because herpes is a lifelong and incurable infection, but also because of the linkage between herpes and HIV infection." Research shows that people with genital herpes are two to three times more likely to acquire HIV and they are also more likely to transmit HIV infection to others. Douglas explained that the immunologic response at the site where herpes ulcers form act as a target for HIV infection even after the ulcers have disappeared. "If you come into contact with the HIV virus, even after the ulcers have healed, you may be more likely to become infected," he says. People who are dually infected with HIV and HSV-2 may also be especially likely to transmit the HIV virus to others during genital herpes flare-ups.”

Vitamin D and Calcium Interplay Explored “The study supports the idea that correcting inadequate blood levels of vitamin D is more important than increasing dietary calcium intake beyond 566 mg a day among women and 626 mg a day among men for better bone mineral density. For example, a higher calcium intake beyond 566 mg a day may only be important among women whose vitamin D concentrations are low (less than 50 nmol/L), according to authors.”

Psychopaths' Brains Wired to Seek Rewards, No Matter the Consequences

Psoriasis Linked to Heart Disease, Cancer: Studies Also Show Link to Increased Risk of Diabetes and Depression

Selenium Protects Men Against Diabetes, Study Suggests

Doctor says heart groups too cozy with industry “The flap caused a stir at the conference and riled doctors and industry members alike. Dr. Robert Harrington, head of heart research at Duke University, who also spoke at the session, said scientists and professional societies need to do more to have "firewalls" to protect their work from corporate influence. However, most research in the United States is paid for by industry, and fair and ethical partnerships are needed to develop treatments, he said. "While it's easy to say all of this should be funded by the NIH, that's not the reality," Harrington said.”

PSA Discoverer Says PSA Screening is "Public Health Disaster" “In his opinion piece, Dr. Ablin writes: "As I've been trying to make clear for years now, PSA testing can't detect prostate cancer." He points out that infections, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, and benign swelling of the prostate can all elevate PSA levels. More important, the test cannot differentiate between prostate cancer that is rapidly growing and potentially fatal from one that is growing slowly and will not kill, he adds. However, Dr. Ablin states categorically that PSA testing "should absolutely not be deployed to screen the entire population of men over the age of 50, the outcome pushed by those who stand to profit." "Drug companies continue peddling the tests and advocacy groups push 'prostate cancer awareness' by encouraging men to get screened," he asserts. "I never dreamt that my discovery 4 decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster," Dr. Ablin says. "The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of PSA screening," he states. "Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatment." “

Vitamin D and Women's Health

Apple Cider Vinegar “Vinegar is a product of fermentation. This is a process in which sugars in a food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In the first stage of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Then, if the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. The word comes from the French, meaning "sour wine." While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things -- like many fruits, vegetables, and grains -- apple cider vinegar comes from pulverized apples. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, is acetic acid. However, vinegars also have other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids. … Should I Use Apple Cider Vinegar? The answer depends on how you want to use apple cider vinegar. As a salad dressing, you should be fine. But taken as a daily medical treatment, it could be a little more risky. Yes, some studies of apple cider vinegar are intriguing. But a lot more research needs to be done. Right now, there is not enough evidence that apple cider vinegar -- or any vinegar -- has any health benefit for any condition. Since the benefits are unknown, so are the risks.”

Vitamin D Crucial to Activating Immune Defenses “Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin, the killer cells of the immune system -- T cells -- will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.”

Why Do Physicians Order Costly CTs? Ultrasound Yields Better Diagnosis, Safer, Less Costly, Expert Argues “Dr Benacerraf concludes: "It may be time for ultrasound to regain its rightful place in the evaluation of acute female pelvic and lower abdominal conditions and save the population from the dangerous radiation exposure and excessive cost of starting a workup with CT as a first-line imaging test."”

Low Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Muscle Fat, Decreased Strength in Young People “While study results may inspire some people to start taking Vitamin D supplements, Dr. Kremer recommends caution. "Obviously this subject requires more study," he says. "We don't yet know whether Vitamin D supplementation would actually result in less accumulation of fat in the muscles or increase muscle strength. We need more research before we can recommend interventions. We need to take things one step at a time."”

Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

Monday March 8 - March 14 2010

Crucial Advice About Women's Knees “Women are more likely to develop “runner’s knee,” for instance, and are especially susceptible to a debilitating rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which helps stabilize the knee joint. Women are two to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than men in the same sports. Such injuries are a special concern in downhill skiing, and female skiers face a three-fold higher risk. A combination of factors may help explain the higher risk of knee injuries, particularly to the ACL, among women. Women’s knees, on average, are supported by smaller, weaker muscles. Women have a wider pelvis than men, and their thigh bones angle inward more sharply from hip to knee, making their knees less stable. They also tend to have stronger quadriceps and weaker hamstrings, and such an imbalance in thigh muscles can contribute to knee injuries. Moreover, studies have found that women are more prone to ACL injuries during the first half (pre-ovulatory) phase of their menstrual cycle, suggesting that hormones may affect ligaments and other connective tissue. “

Metabolic syndrome in adolescents in the Balearic Islands, a Mediterranean region. (Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010)

Jump in Kids' Sports Injuries Due to Overuse “One expert scheduled to speak Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans said injuries are increasing because kids are playing sports year-round -- often without seasonal breaks -- and being exposed to more athletic activity by playing on more than one team at once. "This increased exposure means there will continue to be growing numbers of significant musculoskeletal injuries, both traumatic and chronic overuse," said Dr. Thomas M. DeBerardino, an associate professor of orthopedics at the University of Connecticut Health Center who specializes in sports medicine.”

Obesity and Colon Cancer a Deadly Combination

Study suggests too many invasive heart tests given

High Hospital Occupancy Confers Increased Inpatient Mortality Risk “Inpatient mortality was 5.9% overall, with some variation across hospitals. In multivariate analysis, each of the 4 factors analyzed — hospital occupancy, nurse staffing levels, weekend admission, and seasonal influenza activity — had statistically significant associations with in-hospital mortality. Hospital admission during widespread or regional seasonal influenza activity conferred the greatest increase in absolute risk for inpatient mortality (0.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 - 0.76), followed by weekend admission (0.32 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.11 - 0.54) and high hospital occupancy on admission (0.24 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.06 - 0.43). Increased nurse staffing levels decreased the absolute risk for in-hospital mortality by 0.25 percentage points (95% CI, 0.04 - 0.48) for each additional full-time equivalent nurse per patient-day. … In terms of nurse staffing levels, Dr. Conway cautioned that in his experience, "There is a plateau on how much staffing is effective as it relates to mortality and complications. Assigning a single nurse to every single patient in a hospital is not going to make your mortality rate that much better," he explained. "It levels off around 5-to-1 nursing. If you go down to 10-to-1 nursing, I assure you [the] mortality rate is going to go up." “

High Hospital Occupancy Rate Linked To High Death Rate “The higher the occupancy rate at your hospital, the less likely you are to leave alive. That's the conclusion of a new University of Michigan Health System study that shows you have a 5.6 percent higher risk of dying in a hospital operating at near capacity.”

Americans overtested, overtreated, experts say “"People have come to equate tests with good care and prevention," Redberg, a cardiologist with the University of California at San Francisco, said in an interview Thursday. "Prevention is all the things your mother told you — eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, don't smoke — and we've made it into getting a new test." This week alone, a New England Journal of Medicine study suggested that too many patients are getting angiograms — invasive imaging tests for heart disease — who don't really need them; and specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health said doctors are too often demanding repeat cesarean deliveries for pregnant women after a first C-section. Last week, the American Cancer Society cast more doubt on routine PSA tests for prostate cancer. And a few months ago, other groups recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, and for fewer Pap tests looking for cervical cancer. Does screening save lives? Experts dispute how much routine cancer screening saves lives. It also sometimes detects cancers that are too slow-growing to cause harm, or has false-positive results leading to invasive but needless procedures — and some risks. Treatment for prostate cancer that may be too slow-growing to be life-threatening can mean incontinence and impotence. Angiograms carry a slight risk for stroke or heart attack. “

Regular Analgesic Use May Increase Risk for Hearing Loss “Regular use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or acetaminophen may increase the risk for hearing loss in men, and the impact is larger on those younger than 60 years, according to a prospective study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Medicine. "Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are the 3 most commonly used drugs in the US," write Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues. "Given that analgesic use might result in pathophysiologic changes in the cochlea and that regular use of these analgesics is so common, the relation of these medications and hearing loss might be an important public health issue." However, Curhan and colleagues point out several study limitations that may affect the results of their study. Two independent commentators interviewed by Medscape Family Medicine reiterate these limitations and emphasize that causality cannot be determined from the study results. Yet, both agree that the study focuses on an important issue.”

Variable blood pressure can mean stroke risk “They found patients who had consistently variable blood pressure rates were at least six times more likely to have a stroke than those with regularly high blood pressure.”

U.S. Streams Fail The Test: All Fish Found Contaminated With Mercury “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), recently completed a study of 291 freshwater streams across the United States, and to their dismay, 100 percent of the fish tested from these streams were found to be contaminated with mercury. "This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds and many of our fish in freshwater streams," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar might have also added the American food supply to that list, as last year researchers found that foods containing high fructose corn syrup, an all-too prevalent processed sweetner contained detectible amounts of mercury as well.”

Unsafe at home? “They conclude that seemingly innocent, everyday things might be killing us, because these hormone-altering chemicals are in just about everything and even low levels of them, over time, are harmful. "This notion that there's such a thing as a safe level just simply doesn't exist for endocrine-disrupting chemicals," Lourie said. "There is no safe level. Zero is safe, everything above zero is less safe." “

Breast Cancer Testing: A Matter of Medicine or Marketing? (video)

Which Has More Germs - A Restaurant Tray or a Park Sandbox?

Colorado, California Cities Dominate Slimmest Cities List

America's Most Obese Metropolitan Areas

Stroke Risk Runs in the Family “If your mother or father had a stroke by the time they were 65, your chances of also having a stroke by that age are increased fourfold, U.S. researchers report. There are many risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. These risks factors can be changed, but family history cannot, they added. "Know your family and parents' medical history as accurately as you can. And remember family history may not be modifiable, but it acts superimposed on other risk factors," said lead researcher Dr. Sudha Seshadri, an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine. "Parental stroke occurrence should, we believe, be included in predicting a person's stroke risk," she added.”

Vitamin D Lifts Mood During Cold Weather Months “"There is evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation may decrease insulin resistance," said Dr. Penckofer. "If we can stabilize insulin levels, we may be able to simply and cost effectively improve blood sugar control and reduce symptoms of depression for these women." “

Vitamins Stored In Bathrooms, Kitchens May Become Less Effective “High humidity present in bathrooms and kitchens could be degrading the vitamins and health supplements stored in those rooms, even if the lids are on tight, a Purdue University study shows. Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, said that crystalline substances - including vitamin C, some vitamin B forms and other dietary supplements - are prone to a process called deliquescence, in which humidity causes a water-soluble solid to dissolve. Keeping those supplements away from warm, humid environments can help ensure their effectiveness. "You might see salt or sugar start to cake in the summer, start to form clumps, and that's a sign of deliquescence," said Mauer, whose findings were published in the early online version of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. "You can also get chemical instabilities, which are a little more problematic if you're consuming a dietary supplement with vitamin C for that vitamin C content." Kitchen salt, sugar and powdered drink mixes commonly cake, Mauer said, making their measurement more difficult but not rendering them useless. Chemical changes become more than a nuisance in vitamins and dietary supplements, however.”

Previous Antimicrobial Exposure Is Associated With Drug-Resistant Urinary Tract Infections in Children. (Pediatrics. 2010) “Conclusions: Recent antimicrobial exposure is associated with antimicrobial-resistant UTIs among pediatric outpatients, and the magnitude of this association decreases with time since exposure. Judicious antimicrobial prescribers should consider this association when selecting empiric antimicrobial agents for a new UTI and should use strategies to reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use to avoid development of resistant bacteria .”

The Truth About Urine

Breast Self-Exam

Processed Meat May Harm the Heart “Conventional wisdom has dictated that fat from red meat is a risk factor for heart disease, but a new analysis from Harvard researchers finds it's eating processed meat -- not unprocessed red meat -- that increases the risk for heart disease and even diabetes. The term "processed meat" refers to any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting or with the addition of chemical preservatives. The researchers defined "red meat" as unprocessed meats such as beef, hamburger, lamb and pork. "To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should avoid eating too much processed meats -- for example, hot dogs, bacon, sausage or processed deli meats," said lead researcher Renata Micha, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Based on our findings, eating up to one serving per week would be associated with relatively small risk." “

Suit: Fish Oil Contains Undisclosed PCB Levels “The plaintiffs, led by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation and two environmentalists from New Jersey, tested 10 brands of fish oil supplements and found varying levels of PCBs in each; the highest level was 850 nanograms, and the lowest only 12. … Among the defendants are Omega Protein – the world's biggest producer of fish oil supplements – General Nutrition Corp, Now Health Group Inc, and CVS and Rite Aid, which sell the supplements. “

Researchers link inflammation to illness in overweight people “Normally, inflammation is healthy, a part of the body's fight against infections. But when it happens in response to obesity, it can contribute to numerous ills, such as fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis, says Anthony Ferrante, a medical professor at Columbia whose research focuses on obesity's affects. The inflammation appears to happen because macrophages, white blood cells that attack and eat infection, congregate in fat tissue. Why is a mystery. "Are the fat cells getting big, bursting and then the macrophages are going in to clean up the mess? Or is it that the macrophages are killing the fat cells?" asks Carey Lumeng, a pediatrician who studies obesity and inflammation at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. A few years ago, Ferrante's lab discovered that in lean people, only 5% of fat tissue is made up of macrophages, while in the severely obese it can be more than 50%. And why do they cause an immune response? One hypothesis is that higher concentrations of fat could trigger macrophages to go into inflammatory mode.”

Weight Fluctuations Among Normal-Weight Individuals Increases CVD Risk “Weight cycling, where an individual's body-mass index (BMI) fluctuates during a two-year period, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease among normal-weight individuals, according to the results of a new study [1]. These weight cyclers have a risk of adverse events similar to individuals who are overweight, while overweight individuals who cycled did not experience an additional increased risk of cardiovascular events over and above the risk associated with their increased weight, report investigators.”

U.S. Pays a Price for Dirty Air “"California's failure to meet air pollution standards causes a large amount of expensive hospital care," study author and Rand economist John Romley said in a news release. "The result is that insurance programs -- both those run by the government and private payers -- face higher costs because of California's dirty air."”

Monday March 1 - March 7 2010

Obesity in pregnancy. (Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2010)

Lessons of a $618,616 death

Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks

An Aspirin A Day? (video)

Pregnancy and Depression (video)

Polypharmacy and Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use Among Community-dwelling Elders With Dementia (Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders 2010)

Don't worry, be happy: positive affect and reduced 10-year incident coronary heart disease: The Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey (Eur Heart J (2010))

House Dust Concentrations of Organophosphate Flame Retardants in Relation to Hormone Levels and Semen Quality Parameters (Environ Health Perspect 2010) “Conclusion: OP flame retardants may be associated with altered hormone levels and decreased semen quality in men.”

Breastfeeding Your Baby

Potassium-Rich Foods Do a Heart Good “Eating plenty of potassium-rich foods such as leafy greens, potatoes and bananas may reduce the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease, according to Italian researchers. The new analysis was based on 10 studies published between 1966 and 2009 that included almost 280,000 adults. During follow-ups that ranged from five to 19 years, there were over 5,500 strokes and almost 3,100 coronary heart disease events, the investigators found. Higher potassium intake was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of stroke and an 8 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. The findings support global recommendations for people to increase their consumption of potassium-rich foods in order to prevent vascular disease, said Dr. Pasquale Strazzullo, of the University of Naples, and colleagues. Other foods high in potassium include soybeans, apricots, avocados, plain non-fat yogurt, prune juice, and dried beans and peas.”

People Still Trust Their Doctors Rather Than the Internet “By a large margin, people take their health questions to the Internet first, performing their own research. Then they take that information to their doctor for discussion.”

Smoking During Pregnancy Increases Risk for Preterm Birth

Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure

People With Asthma More Likely to Be Depressed “People with asthma are more than twice as likely to have depression or anxiety as people who don't have the chronic airway disease, according to a report in the March issue of the journal Chest.”

Plant-focused diet may curb breast cancer risk “Diets high in vegetables, fruits and soy might cut the risk of developing breast cancer by 30 percent, new research suggests.”

Is child's food allergy real? Tests trigger false alarms “Food allergies are often misdiagnosed, leaving many parents needlessly worrying about dangerous reactions and painstakingly monitoring food, said Dr. Leonard Bacharier, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine. "It's a big, ugly issue. We deal with it every day." A key reason, he said, is many parents rely solely on the results of blood or skin tests, which are increasing in use because of easier access. Blood tests measure IgE antibodies, chemicals present during an allergic reaction. Skin tests involve measuring hives that result from pricking the skin with food extract. But experts agree blood and skin tests are not reliable. Several recent reports have focused on tests for peanut allergies, a common food allergy one study shows increased twofold among children from 1997 to 2002. Allergies to peanuts and tree nuts are usually lifelong and the leading cause of fatal and near-fatal food allergic reactions. Misdiagnoses appear to be one of many factors behind its increase.”

Formaldehyde Exposure among Children: A Potential Building Block of Asthma “Formaldehyde, a staple chemical in the manufacturing industry, is known to trigger acute adverse health effects such as skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation. Research on the human health effects of this compound has focused on a possible link between formaldehyde exposure and nasopharyngeal cancer. A new study reports the results of a meta-analysis of the literature examining a potential link between formaldehyde exposure and the prevalence of asthma in children …”

Primary Care Doctors Ordering Unnecessary Scans “Inappropriate exams included brain CT for chronic headache, lumbar spine MRI for acute back pain, and knee or shoulder MRI in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Obese Kids as Young as Three Have Raised CRP “A new study has found that abnormal levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and two other inflammatory markers are associated with increasing weight in children, starting at a young age [1]. Dr Asheley Cockrell Skinner (University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill) and colleagues' findings are published online March 1, 2010 in Pediatrics. "We found this is a remarkably consistent story, and it starts as young as age three, something that was surprising to us," senior author Dr Eliana M Perrin (University of North Carolina School of Medicine) told heartwire . "But whether this portends increased cardiac risk down the road, we don't know. We also don't know if the effects are cumulative or whether they are reversible with weight loss or lifestyle changes. More research is needed."”

Breastfeeding Protects Children Against Peptic Ulcer Bacterium, Study Suggests

Monday February 22 - February 28 2010

High Levels of Vitamin D in Older People Can Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes “Middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, according to researchers at the University of Warwick. “

Cyberbullying: A Growing Problem “Around 10 percent of all adolescents in grades 7-9 are victims of internet bullying. 'This type of bullying can be more serious than conventional bullying. At least with conventional bullying the victim is left alone on evenings and weekends', says Ann Frisén, Professor of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg. 'Victims of internet bullying -- or cyberbullying -- have no refuge. Victims may be harassed continuously via SMS and websites, and the information spreads very quickly and may be difficult to remove. In addition, it is often difficult to identify the perpetrator.' “

Why BPA Leached from 'Safe' Plastics May Damage Health of Female Offspring “"The BPA baby bottle scare may be only the tip of the iceberg." said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Remember how diethylstilbestrol (DES) caused birth defects and cancers in young women whose mothers were given such hormones during pregnancy. We'd better watch out for BPA, which seems to carry similar epigenetic risks across the generations. " “

Vitamin B3 Shows Early Promise in Treatment of Stroke “When rats with ischemic stroke were given niacin, their brains showed growth of new blood vessels, and sprouting of nerve cells which greatly improved neurological outcome. … Niacin is known to be the most effective medicine in current clinical use for increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), which helps those fatty deposits. Dr. Chopp and his colleagues found that in animals niacin helps restore neurological function in the brain following stroke. In 2009, stroke physicians at Henry Ford Hospital published research which showed that HDL-C is abnormally low at the time stroke patients arrive at the hospital.”

Lead exposure: Tips to protect your child

Video: Migraine aura

Dietary Calcium and Magnesium Intake and Mortality: A Prospective Study of Men (American Journal of Epidemiology 2010) “This population-based, prospective study of men with relatively high intakes of dietary calcium and magnesium showed that intake of calcium above that recommended daily may reduce all-cause mortality.”

Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of acute coronary syndrome. (Br J Nutr. 2010) “The present results provide some support for previously observed inverse associations between fresh fruit intake, particularly apples, and ACS risk.”

Sitting at work: a health hazard “"We've actually reported that people who break up their sedentary time throughout the day, regardless of their total sedentary time, have a better health profile," Dunstan says. "It all comes down to moving the muscles." For Dunstan that means not sitting on public transport, and standing or moving around as much as possible while taking phone calls and during meetings. "I just say at the start of the meeting 'I will get up and move around. Please don't think I'm not listening.' What happens is once one person starts to stand up, others start to too. But we don't usually stand and move all the time because you know, you still need to write." Ultimately, he'd like to see changes in office design that encourage us to be less sedentary: centralised mail collection points, standing "hot desks" for internet browsing, lunch rooms with benches at standing height, and reading rooms with exercise bikes.”

Confessions of a Sugar Freak: Beating Fatigue and Depression

Before You're Pregnant - Methylmercury

Exercise Your Way to a Healthier Colon

High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristic of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels (Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 2010) “Translated to humans, these results suggest that excessive consumption of HFCS may contribute to the incidence of obesity.”

Too much cola 'leads to muscle and heart problems' “Experts have issued a warning against drinking large quantities of cola, saying it could lead to muscle problems, an irregular heartbeat and bone weakness. The number of cola-lovers suffering health issues is on the rise, they said, adding there had been a food industry push towards an “increase in portion sizes”. As well as tooth decay, diabetes and “softening” of the bones, doctors have seen patients suffering from hypokalaemia — where potassium levels in the blood drop too low. This can increase the risk of muscle problems and heart rhythm abnormalities, which could prove fatal in some cases. “We are consuming more soft drinks than ever before and a number of health issues have already been identified including tooth problems, bone demineralisation and the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” said Dr Moses Elisaf from the University of Ioannina in Greece, who led an academic review of the issue. “

Total fat, trans fat linked to higher incidence of ischemic stroke “Post-menopausal women who reported consuming the most daily dietary fat had a 40 percent higher incidence of clot-caused strokes compared to women who ate the least amount, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2010. The incidence of ischemic stroke also increased by 30 percent in the quartile of women consuming the highest daily amount of trans fat (average intake 7 grams per day) compared to those who consumed the least (average 1 gram/day). Two common sources of trans fat are processed foods and fried foods. “

Bribes Let Tomato Vendor Sell Tainted Food “Days later, federal agents descended on Kraft’s offices near Chicago and confronted Mr. Watson. He admitted his role in a bribery scheme that has laid bare a startling vein of corruption in the food industry. And because the scheme also involved millions of pounds of tomato products with high levels of mold or other defects, the case has raised serious questions about how well food manufacturers safeguard the quality of their ingredients. Over the last 14 months, Mr. Watson and three other purchasing managers, at Frito-Lay, Safeway and B&G Foods, have pleaded guilty to taking bribes. Five people connected to one of the nation’s largest tomato processors, SK Foods, have also admitted taking part in the scheme. … In addition, prosecutors say that for years, SK Foods shipped its customers millions of pounds of bulk tomato paste and puree that fell short of basic quality standards — with falsified documentation to mask the problems. Often that meant mold counts so high the sale should have been prohibited under federal law; at other times it involved breaching specifications in the sales contracts, such as acidity levels or the age of the product. The scope of the tainted shipments was much broader than the bribery scheme, touching more than 55 companies. In some cases, companies detected problems and sent the products back — but in many cases, according to prosecutors, they did not, and the tainted ingredients wound up in food sold to consumers. “

Children and obese hard hit by swine flu: experts “Preliminary data showed the morbidly obese had four times the rate of hospitalizations and deaths, while the death rate for children was five times higher than usual, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.”

Vitamin D and Autoimmune Rheumatologic Disorders. (Autoimmun Rev. 2010)

Vitamin D insufficiency and frailty syndrome in older adults living in a Northern Taiwan community. (Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2010)

Tenfold Therapeutic Dosing Errors in Young Children Reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers (American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2009)

6 Daily Habits That May Make You Sick

Pediatricians Urge Choking Warning Labels for Food “When 4-year-old Eric Stavros Adler choked to death on a piece of hot dog, his anguished mother never dreamed that the popular kids' food could be so dangerous. Some food makers including Oscar Mayer have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric's mom. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The nation's largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children's chances for choking. Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more -- 15,000 in 2001 -- are treated in emergency rooms. Food, including candy and gum, is among the leading culprits, along with items like coins and balloons. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, 61 were food-related.”

Researchers With Financial Interests Show Strong Bias Toward Favorable Conclusions

Why Vitamins Are Hard To Swallow, UK “Dr Sharma argues that these supplements are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and bear little resemblance to the natural vitamins and minerals found in fruit, vegetables and other foods. "So the Cochrane Review, which found that vitamin E may increase the risk of mortality, was not talking about vitamin E found in its natural state," he says. "The component in those supplements was alpha-tocopherol, which is just one part of eight different components found in naturally occurring vitamin E." These other components include flavonoids and carotenoids, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and tomatoes. Without them, says Dr Sharma, the body cannot successfully absorb the isolate vitamin. "This creates a deficiency in vitamin E, an antioxidant that destroys the free-radical cells which cause cancer," he says. Dr Sharma is not against supplements per se; he just thinks we should take them with care and under medical guidance. He also recommends eschewing isolate supplements for a more natural alternative. "I strongly believe that people should only take natural 'food-state' vitamins and minerals - I think going out and buying vitamin C, in isolate form, from, say, a chemist, is actually dangerous."”

Monday February 15 - February 21 2010

Effect of Exercise on Oxidative Stress: A 12-Month Randomized, Controlled Trial. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010) “CONCLUSION:: These findings suggest that aerobic exercise, when accompanied by relatively marked gains in aerobic fitness, decreases oxidative stress among previously sedentary older women, and that these effects occur with minimal change in mass or body composition.”

Dietary Formula That Maintains Youthful Function Into Old Age “Ingredients consists of items that were purchased in local stores selling vitamin and health supplements for people, including vitamins B1, C, D, E, acetylsalicylic acid, beta carotene, folic acid, garlic, ginger root, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea extract, magnesium, melatonin, potassium, cod liver oil, and flax seed oil. Multiple ingredients were combined based on their ability to offset five mechanisms involved in ageing.”

The Biggest Loser: Maternal Obesity Puts a Load on Her Offspring That Lasts a Lifetime

Obesity -- Mild or Severe -- Raises Kidney Stone Risk

The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide (Nutr J. 2010)

Primary Care for Children with Autism (American Family Physician 2010)

"My child doesn't have a brain injury, he only has a concussion". (Pediatrics. 2010)

Low IQ among top heart health risks, study finds “Those who ignored or failed to understand advice about the risks of smoking or benefits of good diet and exercise for heart health would be more likely to be at higher risk, they wrote in a study in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.”

Over-the-counter weight-loss pills: Do they work? “The table shows common weight-loss pills and what the research shows about their effectiveness and safety. …”

Slide show: Guide to portion control for weight loss

Weight-loss drugs: Can a prescription help you lose weight?

Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose (Current Opinion in Lipidology 2010) “Summary: The present review concludes on the basis of the data assembled here that in the amounts currently consumed, fructose is hazardous to the cardiometabolic health of many children, adolescents and adults.”

Do Antioxidants Prevent Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Health Tip: Looking for Early Signs of Dyslexia “The Foundation offers this list of possible early warning signs: • Difficulty learning to speak and say longer words. • Problems with rhyming. • Difficulty learning the alphabet, days of the week, numbers, recognizing colors and shapes. • Problems recognizing the sounds and names of particular letters. • Struggling to write or read his or her own name. • Problems with syllables or saying certain sounds. • Transposing letters when reading or spelling some words. • Trouble with handwriting. • Lacking fine motor skills.”

Pan-Frying Meat With Gas May Be Worse Than Electricity for Raising Cancer Risk

Autism's Earliest Symptoms Not Evident in Children Under 6 Months, Study Finds

Vitamin D may help pre-diabetes

Dry Cleaning Chemical 'Likely' Causes Cancer “PERC really is a "likely human carcinogen," the National Academy of Sciences says. PERC is a chemical known as perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene. It's the solvent used by about 85% of U.S. dry cleaners, but is also used as a metal degreaser and in the production of many other chemicals. PERC is found in the air, in drinking water, and in soil. It can be detected in most people's blood, as well as in breast milk. What's the risk? In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggested that PERC be classified as a "likely human carcinogen." Moreover, the EPA found that PERC's most dangerous noncancer toxicity is brain and nervous system damage -- and set safe exposure levels well below levels that cause such damage.”

Quarter of stroke patients die within a year “One in four people who have a stroke will likely die within one year from any cause and 8 percent who have a stroke will have another one soon, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The risks were higher for African-Americans compared to whites and increased with age and the number of other ailments stroke patients had, the researchers wrote in the journal Neurology.”

Monday February 8 - February 14 2010

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids: partners in prevention (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2010) “Summary: The AHA concludes that Americans need to increase their intake of long-chain omega-3 FAs and that they should maintain (and possibly even increase) their intakes of omega-6 FAs. For the omega-3 FAs, a healthy target intake is about 500 mg per day (whether from oily fish or fish oil capsules) and for linoleic acid, approximately 15 g per day (12 g for women and 17 g for men). Achieving healthy intakes of both omega-6 and omega-3 FAs is an important component of the nutritional prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease.”

Irregular Heavy Drinking Occasions and Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (American Journal of Epidemiology 2010) “The authors concluded that the cardioprotective effect of moderate alcohol consumption disappears when, on average, light to moderate drinking is mixed with irregular heavy drinking occasions.”

Polycarbonate Bottle Use and Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations (Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009) “One week of polycarbonate bottle use increased urinary BPA concentrations by two-thirds. Regular consumption of cold beverages from polycarbonate bottles is associated with a substantial increase in urinary BPA concentrations irrespective of exposure to BPA from other sources.”

Metformin-Induced Vitamin B12 Deficiency Presenting as a Peripheral Neuropathy. (Med J. 2010) “Chronic metformin use results in vitamin B12 deficiency in 30% of patients.”

Cannabis and breastfeeding. (J Toxicol. 2009)

Higher Fish Consumption in Pregnancy May Confer Protection against the Harmful Effect of Prenatal Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter. (Ann Nutr Metab. 2010)

Body burdens of brominated flame retardants and other persistent organo-halogenated compounds and their descriptors in US girls. (Environ Res. 2010)

Mothers' maximum drinks ever consumed in 24 hours predicts mental health problems in adolescent offspring. (J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010) “Results: Maximum consumption was associated with conduct disorder, disruptive disorders in general, early substance use and misuse, and substance disorders in adolescent children regardless of sex.”

Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: Epidemiologic evidence. (Physiol Behav. 2010) “Consumption of SSBs should therefore be replaced by healthy alternatives such as water, to reduce risk of obesity and chronic diseases.”

How Much Omega-6 Fat is Too Much? (2008) “A. A committee of scientists from around the world gathered in Washington D.C to answer that question. They recommended a range of 4.44 to 6.67 grams of omega-6 fat (specifically, linoleic acid) per day. They stated that enough scientific evidence exists to cap the limit to a maximum of 6.67 g/day, which is the amount of omega-6 in one tablespoon of corn oil or soybean oil. Currently, the typical American eats nearly double that amount, averaging 13 grams of omega-6 fat each day. Notably, the Lyon Diet Heart study, which popularized the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, also capped the dietary omega-6 fat intake to a similar level of 7 grams per day. This study made headline news because of it's remarkable (and unprecedented) lower death rate from all causes, especially cancer. … To lower dietary omega-6 fat, means cooking primarily with olive oil, and choosing foods that are made from olive oil, flax seed oil, canola oil or high-oleic oils. The top three contributors of omega-6 fat in the diet are soybean oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil; and foods made with these oils, especially margarines, salad dressings and mayonnaise.”

Health Tip: Help Prevent Travelers' Diarrhea “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions to help reduce your risk of travelers' diarrhea: • Don't eat or drink anything from a street vendor. • Don't obtain food or drink from any facility that appears unclean. • Don't eat any meat or seafood that is raw or appears undercooked. • Don't eat any raw vegetables or fruit (i.e. oranges, bananas) unless you peel them yourself. • Avoid tap water and ice. • Avoid drinking or eating unpasteurized dairy products. “

Soy: Friend or Foe?

Auto Exhaust Linked to Thickening of Arteries, Possible Increased Risk of Heart Attack “"For the first time, we have shown that air pollution contributes to the early formation of heart disease, known as atherosclerosis, which is connected to nearly half the deaths in Western societies and to a growing proportion of deaths in the rapidly industrializing nations of Asia and Latin America," said study co-author Michael Jerrett, UC Berkeley associate professor of environmental health sciences. "The implications are that by controlling air pollution from traffic, we may see much larger benefits to public health than we thought previously."”

Even third-hand smoke carries carcinogens: study “They found cancer-causing agents called tobacco-specific nitrosamines stick to a variety of surfaces, where they can get into dust or be picked up on the fingers. Children and infants are the most likely to pick them up, the team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California reported. "These findings raise concerns about exposures to the tobacco smoke residue that has been recently dubbed 'third-hand smoke'," the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, available here They suggested a good clean-up could help remove these potentially harmful chemicals and said their findings suggest other airborne toxins may also be found on surfaces.” … "Because of their frequent contact with surfaces and dust, infants and children are particularly at risk," they wrote. "Nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco smoke, has until now been considered to be non-toxic in the strictest sense of the term," Kamlesh Asotra of the University of California's Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, which paid for the study, said in a statement. "What we see in this study is that the reactions of residual nicotine with nitrous acid at surface interfaces are a potential cancer hazard, and these results may be just the tip of the iceberg." “

Agricultural Chemical Spray Linked to Birth Defect Risk “Gastroschisis occurred more often among infants born to mothers who lived less than 25 kilometers (or about 15.5 miles) from the site of high surface water contamination with atrazine. There was no increased risk associated with the other chemicals. The study authors also found that the risk of gastroschisis was higher for women who conceived in the spring (March through May), when agricultural chemical use is more prevalent.”

For the Knee, Shoes and Playing Surface Matter

Drinking pop can lead to deadly form of cancer “The pancreas makes insulin, and scientists believe high concentrations of insulin can drive the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Eating too much sugar increases insulin levels in the body, and one of the leading sources of added sugar in our diets are soft drinks. … Those who reported drinking two or more soft drinks per week had an 87-per-cent increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who didn't drink soft drinks. The pop drinkers were averaging five drinks per week.”

Pancreatic Cancer Linked to Sodas? “Drinking as little as two soft drinks a week appears to nearly double the risk of getting pancreatic cancer, according to a new study. ''People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% increased risk -- or nearly twice the risk -- of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks," says study lead author Noel T. Mueller, MPH, a research associate at the Cancer Control Program at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. The study is published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The beverage industry took strong exception to the study, calling it flawed and pointing to other research that has found no association between soda consumption and pancreatic cancer. … Even though the new study has limitations, the findings do echo those of previous studies, says Laurence N. Kolonel, MD, PhD, a researcher at the Cancer Research Center and professor of public health at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. With his colleagues, he evaluated the association between added sugars in the diet and pancreatic cancer risk, publishing the findings in 2007. “In our study, we found a positive association between high intake of fructose and pancreatic cancer,” he tells WebMD. “Since high-fructose corn syrup is the main sweetener in non-diet soft drinks, our findings and those of the present study are quite consistent.””

Monday February 1 - February 7 2010

Effect of Nutrition on Blood Pressure (Annual Review of Nutrition 2010) “Higher intakes of potassium, PUFA, protein, exercise, and possibly vitamin D may reduce blood pressure. Less conclusive studies suggest that amino acids, tea, green coffee bean extract, dark chocolate, tea, and foods high in nitrates may reduce blood pressure. Short-term studies indicate that specialized diets may prevent or ameliorate mild hypertension, most notably the DASH diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, and the DASH low-sodium diet. Long-term compliance to these diets remains a major concern.”

Why Shouldn't I Drink Grapefruit Juice With My Meds?

Can I Take Statins and Grapefruit Together? “Grapefruit contains the compound bergamottin, which interacts with certain enzyme systems in the body, such as cytochrome P-450 and P-glycoprotein. These enzyme systems are responsible for breaking down statins, as well as other drugs, into more usable chemicals and transporting them in the body. When grapefruit juice is consumed at or around the time you take your statin, the components in grapefruit prevent these enzyme systems from breaking down the drug, causing the drug to accumulate in high amounts in the body. This can be very dangerous and can cause a variety of health problems, such as liver damage or a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle and kidney damage). “

Moms' Depression in Pregnancy Tied to Antisocial Behavior in Teens “Children from urban areas whose mothers suffer from depression during pregnancy are more likely than others to show antisocial behavior, including violent behavior, later in life. Furthermore, women who are aggressive and disruptive in their own teen years are more likely to become depressed in pregnancy, so that the moms' history predicts their own children's antisocial behavior.”

Early Abuse Tied to More Depression in Children “Children who experience maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect, grow up with a lot of stress. Cortisol, termed the "stress hormone," helps the body regulate stress. But when stress is chronic and overloads the system, cortisol can soar to very high levels or plummet to lows, which in turn can harm development and health. … More importantly, only children who were abused before age 5 and depressed had an atypical flattening of cortisol production during the day, whereas other children, whether they were depressed or not, showed an expected daily decline in cortisol from morning to afternoon. This finding means that the body's primary system for adapting to stress had become compromised among children who were depressed and abused early in life. The results suggest that there are different subtypes of depression, with atypical cortisol regulation occurring among children who were abused before age 5. The authors suggest that early abuse may be more damaging to developing emotion and stress systems because it happens as the brain is rapidly developing and when children are more dependent on caregivers' protection. Moreover, because it's harder for very young children to discern the clues predicting an abusive attack, they may be chronically stressed and overly vigilant, even when they're not being abused.”

Air pollution positively correlates with daily stroke admission and in hospital mortality: a study in the urban area of Como, Italy. (Neurol Sci. 2010) “In conclusion, this study suggests an association between short-term outdoor air pollution exposure and ischemic stroke admission and mortality.”

Pesticide Use and Thyroid Disease Among Women in the Agricultural Health Study (American Journal of Epidemiology 2010) “These data support a role of organochlorines, in addition to fungicides, in the etiology of thyroid disease among female spouses enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study.”

A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health (Int J Biol Sci 2009) “We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize (NK 603, MON 810, MON 863), which are present in food and feed in the world. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulation. MON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides. … Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded. … These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown. … Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.”

If you're 70 and overweight, you may live longer “The new study suggests that in the elderly, these boundaries may be too narrow. While no one is questioning that extra fat poses health risks in young and middle-aged adults, it may cushion the impact of frailty and old age, Yoshikawa told Reuters Health. "We're not advocating that people get obese," said Yoshikawa, who was not involved in the new study. But "if you are five or 10 pounds heavier, it's better than being five or 10 pounds lighter." So far, nobody knows exactly how BMI affects lifespan in older people. Some researchers speculate that it acts as an energy reserve that can help the elderly cope with illness.”

Omega-3 May Promote Youthful Biological Age

Green Tea May Help Cut Risk for Lung Cancer

Study Says Lead May Be The Culprit In ADHD “Nigg offers a causal model for the disabling symptoms associated with ADHD: Lead attaches to sites in the brain's striatum and frontal cortex, where it acts on the genes in these regions-causing them to turn on or remain inactive. Gene activity shapes the development and activity of these brain regions. By disrupting brain activity, the toxin in turn alters psychological processes supported by these neurons, notably cognitive control. Finally, diminished cognitive control contributes to hyperactivity and lack of vigilance. Nigg describes his new data and his explanatory model in the February issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.”

Heavy Backpacks Affect Children's Spines “The results suggest that heavy backpacks cause compression of the spinal disks and increased spinal curvature, both of which are related to back pain reported by the children. Although the children were wearing the backpack straps over both shoulders when the MRI scans were performed, the researchers note that spinal curvature could be even greater if the backpack was carried over one shoulder-as many children do.”

Much Higher Tritium Levels Found at Nuclear Plant “A radioactive substance recently found in groundwater monitoring wells at a Vermont nuclear plant has turned up again at levels more than nine times those previously reported and more than 37 times higher than a federal safe drinking water limit, officials said Thursday. Officials at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, state Health Department and federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission said a newly dug monitoring well at the Vernon reactor turned up a reading of nearly 775,000 picocuries per liter. It was by far the highest reading reported yet for tritium, which has been linked to cancer when ingested in large amounts. Despite the much higher reading, an NRC spokeswoman said Thursday there was nothing to fear. "There's not currently, nor is there likely to be, an impact on public health or safety or the environment," the NRC's Diane Screnci said in an interview. She had maintained previously that the Environmental Protection Agency drinking water safety limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter had an abundance of caution built into it. California's state limit is 50 times lower than the EPA's, 400 picocuries per liter. The National Academy of Sciences said in 2005 that any exposure to ionizing radiation from an isotope like tritium elevates the risk of cancer, though it also said with small exposures, the risk would be low. … Gov. Jim Douglas, meanwhile, told reporters he did not know whether to be satisfied with a management shake-up at Vermont Yankee. He had called for such changes last week, three weeks after it was revealed that officials with Vermont Yankee and it's owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., had misled state regulators and lawmakers by saying the nuclear plant did not have the sort of underground piping that could carry tritium.”

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Due to Brainstem Serotonin Abnormality “The findings appear to confirm the hypothesis that SIDS — the unexplained death of an infant within a year of birth — results from lower levels, rather than an excess, of medullary 5-HT. This fits into the triple-risk model of SIDS, suggesting it occurs when 3 elements come together: an infant with an underlying vulnerability, in this case, a low serotonin level; a critical period of development during the first year of life; and an external stressor, sleeping face down. "We call this a perfect storm," said Dr. Kinney: "You have a baby with the underlying vulnerability but that becomes unmasked when the baby is asleep and when the baby undergoes stress."”

Cell Phones May Be Linked to Increase in Tumors, But Evidence Still Inconclusive

Air quality improvement and the prevalence of frequent ear infections in children. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Better air quality is significantly associated with lower prevalence of pediatric frequent ear infections but is not associated with the prevalence of pediatric respiratory allergy. Improvements in air quality may be implicated in the decreased rates of pediatric ear infections over time.”

Is Swimming During Pregnancy a Safe Exercise? (J.Epidemiology. 2010) “Compared with nonexercisers, women who swam in early/mid-pregnancy had a slightly reduced risk of giving birth preterm (hazard ratio = 0.80 [95% confidence interval = 0.72-0.88]) or giving birth to a child with congenital malformations (odds ratio = 0.89 [0.80-0.98]). CONCLUSIONS:: These data do not indicate that swimming in pool water is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes.”

Impact of smoking on patients with stage III colon cancer: results from Cancer and Leukemia Group B 89803. (Cancer. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS:: Total tobacco usage early in life may be an important, independent prognostic factor of cancer recurrences and mortality in patients with stage III colon cancer.”

Association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in European populations:a nested case-control study. (BMJ. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: The results of this large observational study indicate a strong inverse association between levels of pre-diagnostic 25-(OH)D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in western European populations. Further randomised trials are needed to assess whether increases in circulating 25-(OH)D concentration can effectively decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.”

What Is the Lifetime Risk of Physician-diagnosed Asthma in Ontario, Canada? (American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2010) “Conclusions: Our estimated overall lifetime risk indicates that one of every three individuals in Ontario, Canada has physician-diagnosed asthma during one's lifetime.”

Predicting Residential Exposure to Phthalate Plasticizer Emitted from ?Vinyl Flooring: Sensitivity, Uncertainty, and Implications for Biomonitoring (EHP 2010)

Effect of Early Life Exposure to Air Pollution on Development of Childhood Asthma (EHP 2010) “These data support the hypothesis that early childhood exposure to air pollutants plays a role in development of asthma.”

Serum Selenium Concentrations and Diabetes in U.S. Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004 (Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009) “Most Americans have selenium intake ranging from 60 to 220 < g/day (Combs 2001), well above the recommended dietary allowance of 55 < g/day (Institute of Medicine and Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds 2000; Rayman 2008). This high level of intake, particularly compared with other countries, is attributable to the high soil content of selenium in several areas of the United States, which is eventually incorporated in the food chain (Rayman 2008). Although selenium is required for adequate function of glutathione peroxidase and other selenoproteins, the risk of selenium deficiency in the U.S. general population is negligible. Additional selenium intake at high intake levels does not increase glutathione peroxidase synthesis or activity, but rather increases plasma selenium concentration by the nonspecific incorporation of selenomethionine into plasma proteins (Institute of Medicine and Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds 2000), with unknown health effects. … Because there is a narrow range between selenium intake levels required for selenoprotein synthesis and toxic levels (Institute of Medicine and Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds 2000), these findings raise concerns of possible adverse cardiometabolic effects of high selenium exposure, at least in selenium-replete populations such as the United States. … Conclusions: In U.S. adults, high serum selenium concentrations were associated with higher prevalence of diabetes and higher fasting plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Given high selenium intake in the U.S. population, further research is needed to determine the role of excess selenium levels in the development or the progression of diabetes.”

Experts say 40 percent of cancers could be prevented “Cervical and liver cancer, both caused by infections which can be prevented with vaccines, should be top priorities, the report said, not only in rich nations, but also in developing countries where 80 percent of global cervical cancer occur. … Other cancer-causing infections include hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Epstein Barr, a herpes-type virus transmitted by saliva. The experts said the risk of developing cancer could potentially be reduced by up to 40 percent if full immunization and prevention measures were deployed and combined with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating healthily, limiting alcohol intake and reducing sun exposure.”

Study Linking Vaccine to Autism Broke Research Rules, U.K. Regulators Say

Success Seen With Experimental Abstinence Program “An experimental abstinence-only program without a moralistic tone can delay teens from having sex, a provocative study found. Billed as the first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach, the study differed from traditional programs that have lost federal and state support in recent years. The classes didn't preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use. Instead, it involved assignments to help sixth- and seventh graders see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age, including having them list the pros and cons themselves. Their cons far outnumbered the pros.”

Whole Grain Intake Prevents Diabetes, Heart Diseases, and Excess Weight Gain

Balance Training Reduces Falls Risk in Older Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. (Diabetes Care. 2010)

Monday January 25 - January 31 2010

Anxiety disorders in older adults: a comprehensive review. (Depress Anxiety. 2010)

Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010)

Should all patients with melanoma between 1 and 2 mm Breslow thickness undergo sentinel lymph node biopsy? (Cancer. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS:: The current findings indicated that there is significant diversity in the biologic behavior of melanoma between 1 mm and 2 mm in Breslow thickness. SLN biopsy is recommended for all such patients to identify those with lymph node metastasis who are at the greatest risk of recurrence and mortality.”

Vitamin D Supplementation Can Reduce Falls in Nursing Care Facilities

Vitamin D Supplements Could Fight Crohn's Disease

Antioxidants Aren't Always Good for You and Can Impair Muscle Function, Study Shows

The Shocking Truth About Running Shoes

Impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease: prevalence and possible risk factors. (Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009)

Predicting Parkinson's disease - why, when, and how? (Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009)

Physical activity, diet, adiposity and female breast cancer prognosis: A review of the epidemiologic literature. (Maturitas. 2010)

Egg Consumption and the Risk of Cancer: a Multisite Case-Control Study in Uruguay. (Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009)

Salted Meat Consumption and the Risk of Cancer: a Multisite Case-Control Study in Uruguay. (Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009)

Many children 'hear voices'; most aren't bothered “Nearly 1 in 10 seven- to eight-year-olds hears voices that aren't really there, according to a new study. But most children who hear voices don't find them troubling or disruptive to their thinking, the study team found. "These voices in general have a limited impact in daily life," Agna A. Bartels-Velthuis of University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands wrote in an email to Reuters Health. And parents whose children hear voices should not be overly concerned, she added. "In most cases the voices will just disappear. I would advise them to reassure their child and to watch him or her closely." Up to 16 percent of mentally healthy children and teens may hear voices, the researchers note in the British Journal of Psychiatry. While hearing voices can signal a heightened risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in later life, they add, the "great majority" of young people who have these experiences never become mentally ill.”

Maternal Influenza Infection During Pregnancy Impacts Postnatal Brain Development in t he Rhesus Monkey. (Biol Psychiatry. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Influenza infection during pregnancy affects neural development in the monkey, reducing gray matter throughout most of the cortex and decreasing white matter in parietal cortex. These brain alterations are likely to be permanent, given that they were still present at the monkey-equivalent of older childhood and thus might increase the likelihood of later behavioral pathology.”

HPV Testing More Effective Than Cytology in Preventing Cervical Cancer in Women Over 35 “For women 35 years of age or older, human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening is more effective in detecting high-grade lesions and preventing invasive cervical cancer than cytology. However, this screening modality is less effective in younger women because it can lead to overdiagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), which is likely to regress on its own. In a study published online January 19 in the Lancet Oncology, the researchers conclude that for women older than 35 years, HPV testing should replace cytology in routine screening. An accompanying editorial notes that HPV testing "shows a great deal of promise to revolutionize cervical cancer screening, especially in developing countries." “

Caffeine Intoxication and Addiction (Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2010)

Vitamin D, innate immunity and upper respiratory tract infection. (J Laryngol Otol. 2010)

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for Men: Why multivitamins and other dietary supplements can be hazardous to your health “To be sure, vitamin supplements can be beneficial for certain groups of people. After the age of 55 or so, your body starts to lose the capacity to make vitamin D from sunshine, and adding a vitamin D pill may be a good idea. The elderly also lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from their diet, and some of this deficiency can be met by taking a B12 supplement. Cancer patients, or people eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day, may have vitamin deficiencies. Vegans may need some B vitamins and iron unless they are meticulous about getting these nutrients from their diet. “There really is no strong evidence to support the need of the average 35- to 55-year-old man to take a multivitamin,” says Cheryl Rock, MD, professor of nutrition in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. “If you’re concerned about your nutritional levels, a doctor can order tests. It is quite easy to find out, for example, if you are deficient in B12 or vitamin D. And usually one visit with a dietician will be covered by health insurance.””

[Learning disabilities] (Nippon Rinsho. 2010)

More Melamine-Tainted Milk Products Found in China “The announcement calls into question the effectiveness of a crackdown launched by Chinese officials to improve product safety after a number of scandals, including the contamination of baby formula in 2008 and the recent discovery of the toxic metal cadmium in cheap jewelry.”

Monday January 18 - January 24 2010

Antibiotic Treatment Duration and Long-Term Outcomes of Patients with Early Lyme Disease from a Lyme Disease–Hyperendemic Area (Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010) “Conclusions. Patients treated for 10 days with antibiotic therapy for early Lyme disease have long-term outcomes similar to those of patients treated with longer courses. Treatment failure after appropriately targeted short-course therapy, if it occurs, is exceedingly rare.”

Adult Psychiatric Outcomes of Girls With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: 11-Year Follow-Up in a Longitudinal Case-Control Study. (Am J Psychiatry. 2010) “Conclusions By young adulthood, girls with ADHD were at high risk for antisocial, addictive, mood, anxiety, and eating disorders. These prospective findings, previously documented in boys with ADHD, provide further evidence for the high morbidity associated with ADHD across the life cycle.”

A systematic review of the effects of antipsychotic drugs on brain volume. (J.Psychol Med. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Some evidence points towards the possibility that antipsychotic drugs reduce the volume of brain matter and increase ventricular or fluid volume. Antipsychotics may contribute to the genesis of some of the abnormalities usually attributed to schizophrenia.”

Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels With Telomeric Aging in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease (JAMA 2010) “Conclusion Among this cohort of patients with coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.”

Isoflavone intake and risk of lung cancer: a prospective cohort study in Japan. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010)

Mother’s gum disease linked to infant's death “Pregnant women with untreated gum disease may have more at stake than just their teeth. They may also be risking the lives of their babies, a new study shows. Expectant mothers have long been warned that gum disease can cause a baby to be born prematurely or too small. But for the first time scientists have linked bacteria from a mother’s gums to an infection in a baby that was full-term but stillborn, according to the study which was published Thursday in Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

Retail Meat Linked to Urinary Tract Infections: Strong New Evidence “Chicken sold in supermarkets, restaurants and other outlets may place young women at risk of urinary tract infections (UTI), McGill researcher Amee Manges has discovered.”

High Vitamin D Levels Linked to Lower Risk of Colon Cancer “High blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, finds a large European study published online in the British Medical Journal. The risk was cut by as much as 40% in people with the highest levels compared with those in the lowest.”

Consumers Over Age 50 Should Consider Cutting Copper and Iron Intake, Report Suggests “"It seems clear that large segments of the population are at risk for toxicities from free copper and free iron, and to me, it seems clear that preventive steps should begin now." The article details those steps for people over age 50, including avoiding vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron; lowering meat intake: avoiding drinking water from copper pipes; donating blood regularly to reduce iron levels; and taking zinc supplements to lower copper levels.”

Correlations between enuresis in children and nocturia in mothers. (J Urol Nephrol. 2010)

Prenatal Exposure to Flame-Retardant Compounds Affects Neurodevelopment of Young Children “PBDEs are endocrine-disrupting chemicals and widely used flame-retardant compounds that are applied to a broad array of textiles and consumer products, including mattresses, upholstery, building materials, and electronic equipment. Because the compounds are additives rather than chemically bound to consumer products, they can be released into the environment. Human exposure may occur through dietary ingestion or through inhalation of dust containing PBDEs. The researchers found that children with higher concentrations of PBDEs in their umbilical cord blood at birth scored lower on tests of mental and physical development between the ages of one and six. Developmental effects were particularly evident at four years of age, when verbal and full IQ scores were reduced 5.5 to 8.0 points for those with the highest prenatal exposures.”

Obesity Ups Cancer Risk, and Here's How “Karin's team shows that liver cancer is fostered by the chronic inflammatory state that goes with obesity, and two well known inflammatory factors in particular. The findings suggest that anti-inflammatory drugs that have already been taken by millions of people for diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease may also reduce the risk of cancer in those at high risk due to obesity and perhaps other factors as well, Karin said.”

Study links thyroid disease to non-stick chemicals “Scientists have linked a chemical used in consumer goods like non-stick pans and water-resistant fabrics with thyroid disease, raising questions about the potential health risks of exposure to the substance. A study by British researchers found that people with high levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in their blood have higher rates of thyroid diseases -- conditions which affect the body's metabolism. PFOA is a common chemical, used in industrial and consumer products including non-stick cooking pans, stain-proof carpet coatings and waterproofing for fabrics.”

Sun and solarium exposure and melanoma risk: effects of age, pigmentary characteristics, and nevi. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010)

White matter microstructural abnormalities in euthymic bipolar disorder. (Br J Psychiatry. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Generalised white matter microstructural abnormalities may exist in bipolar disorder, possibly exacerbated by past substance use and ameliorated by lithium.”

Chronic fungal sinusitis leading to disastrous cerebral aspergillosis: a case report (Cases J. 2009)

Inflammation in Atherosclerosis: (Circ J. 2010) “Thus, accumulating experimental evidence supports a key role for inflammation as a link between risk factors for atherosclerosis and the biology that underlies the complications of this disease. The recent JUPITER trial supports the clinical utility of an assessment of inflammatory status in guiding intervention to limit cardiovascular events. Inflammation is thus moving from a theoretical concept to a tool that provides practical clinical utility in risk assessment and targeting of therapy.”

Body mass index as predictor for asthma: a cohort study of 118 723 males and females. (Eur Respir J. 2010)

Phthalate exposure and asthma in children. (Int J Androl. 2010)

The role of cats and dogs in asthma and allergy - a systematic review. (Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2010)

Confirmation of asthma in an Era of Overdiagnosis. (Eur Respir J. 2010)

Monday January 11 - January 17 2010

Vitamin D insufficiency in pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age in the United States. (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010) “CONCLUSION: Adolescent and adult women of childbearing age have a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency. Current prenatal multivitamins (400 IU vitamin D) helped to raise serum 25(OH)D levels, but higher doses and longer duration may be required.”

Sleep disturbances in pregnancy. (Obstet Gynecol. 2010)

Obesity and weight change in relation to breast cancer survival. (Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010) “Our study suggests that obesity and weight change after diagnosis are inversely associated with breast cancer prognosis. Weight control is important among women with breast cancer.”

Lead damages child kidneys, even low levels: study “Tiny amounts of lead are common in the blood of U.S. teenagers and may be damaging their kidneys, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. They found evidence of early kidney damage in children with lead levels far below what is normally considered dangerous and said this could lead to kidney disease in later life.”

Physicians Urged to Consider Active Surveillance in Prostate Cancer “Active surveillance—in the past also called “watchful waiting and “expectant management”—refers to a strategy of forgoing immediate treatment after a diagnosis of prostate cancer in favor of regularly scheduled testing and clinical exams to closely monitor the disease. Active surveillance can include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, digital rectal exams (DRE), and prostate biopsies. If, at some point, there are indications that the disease is progressing—such as significant growth in the tumor or a rapid increase in PSA level or higher tumor grade on biopsy—definitive treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy can be pursued.”

More evidence anti-depressants don't work for mild, moderate cases

Association between local traffic-generated air pollution and preeclampsia and preterm delivery in the south coast air basin of California. (Environ Health Perspect. 2009) “CONCLUSION: Exposure to local traffic-generated air pollution during pregnancy increases the risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth in Southern California women. These results provide further evidence that air pollution is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes.”

Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids Recall “Because of a sickening smell in some containers, 54 million packages of 27 different over-the-counter remedies now are being recalled. Products include various types of child and/or adult Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids, and Simply Sleep. This adds to the 6 million packages of Tylenol recalled late last year, bringing the total number of recalled products to 60 million. A musty, moldy odor coming from the products has sickened at least 70 people with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms go away by themselves and no one has been seriously injured. The FDA says Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Health Care knew of the problem for more than a year. When the company did act in November and December 2008, it did too little too late, said Deborah M. Autor, director of the FDA's Office of Compliance. "When something smells bad, literally or figuratively, companies must aggressively investigate and take all actions necessary to solve the problem," Autor said at a news conference. "McNeil should have acted faster." “

Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures “There's a growing consensus that a combination of calcium and vitamin D is more effective than vitamin D alone in preventing nonvertebral fractures, Opinder Sahota, of Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham, England, wrote in an accompanying editorial.”

7 Ingredients to Ban From Your Bathroom

Health Tip: Symptoms That May Indicate an Autistic Disorder

Early Cognitive Deficits, Developmental Delays, May Be a Harbinger for Adult-Onset Schizophrenia “Children who develop schizophrenia as adults already show signs of cognitive deficits by the age of 7 years and lag behind their peers on measures of memory, attention, and processing speed as they mature, according to results of the 30-year Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. In a study published online January 4 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Abraham Reichenberg, PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, United Kingdom, and colleagues, found that children who developed schizophrenia as adults had signs of development deficits relative to their peers that emerged early and remained stable on cognitive tests assessing verbal and visual knowledge acquisition, reasoning, and conceptualization. The same children also lagged behind their peers on tests assessing processing speed, attention, visual-spatial problem solving, and working memory. Neither one of these premorbid cognitive patterns were seen in children who later developed recurrent depression.”

Dieters Beware: Calorie Counts Are Frequently Off “According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, prepared foods may contain an average of 8% more calories than their package labels own up to and restaurant meals may contain a whopping 18% more. Worse still, as far as Food and Drug Administration regulations are concerned, that's perfectly O.K.”

Negative Phys Ed Teacher Can Cause a Lifetime of Inactivity “Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, according to a University of Alberta researcher.”

Feds Probe Cadmium in Kids' Jewelry From China

Less sleep for kids may mean higher blood sugar

Driveways could spread toxins into the home “If you're thinking about sprucing up your driveway with a fresh coat of black sealant, consider this: some homes with black parking lots have been found to have surprisingly large doses of carcinogens in their household dust. Some of the sticky, black sealants used to coat asphalt are made of coal tar, which contains polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), some of which are known or suspected carcinogens. Barbara Mahler of the US Geological Survey in Austin, Texas, and colleagues have been tracking a link between high quantities of these compounds in the environment and sealed parking lots. "Scientists who work with these compounds — their jaws drop open when they see our numbers," says Mahler. Their work has led to the banning of coal-tar sealants in some cities, including their home town of Austin and, in 2009, Washington DC. Now they show that the use of coal tar sealant in household driveways makes a big difference to the amount of PAHs in household dust1.”

Monday January 4 - January 10 2010

The Long-Term Effects of Breastfeeding on Child and Adolescent Mental Health: A Pregnancy Cohort Study Followed for 14 Years. (J Pediatr. 2010)

AP IMPACT: Toxic metal in kids' jewelry from China “Barred from using lead in children's jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the United States, an Associated Press investigation shows. The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children. … Cadmium is a known carcinogen. Like lead, it can hinder brain development in the very young, according to recent research. Children don't have to swallow an item to be exposed -- they can get persistent, low-level doses by regularly sucking or biting jewelry with a high cadmium content. To gauge cadmium's prevalence in children's jewelry, the AP organized lab testing of 103 items bought in New York, Ohio, Texas and California. All but one were purchased in November or December. The results: 12 percent of the pieces of jewelry contained at least 10 percent cadmium. Some of the most troubling test results were for bracelet charms sold at Walmart, at the jewelry chain Claire's and at a dollar store. High amounts of cadmium also were detected in "The Princess and The Frog" movie-themed pendants. "There's nothing positive that you can say about this metal. It's a poison," said Bruce A. Fowler, a cadmium specialist and toxicologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the CDC's priority list of 275 most hazardous substances in the environment, cadmium ranks No. 7.”

Sharing a Hospital Room Increases Risk of 'Super Bugs' “A new study led by infectious diseases expert Dr. Dick Zoutman says the chance of acquiring serious infections like C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) rises with the addition of every hospital roommate. "If you're in a two, three or four-bedded room, each time you get a new roommate your risk of acquiring these serious infections increases by 10 per cent," says Dr. Zoutman, professor of Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen's. "That's a substantial risk, particularly for longer hospital stays when you can expect to have many different roommates." “

Beverages obtained from soda fountain machines in the U.S. contain microorganisms, including coliform bacteria (International Journal of Food Microbiology 2009) “These findings suggest that soda fountain machines may harbor persistent communities of potentially pathogenic microorganisms which may contribute to episodic gastric distress in the general population and could pose a more significant health risk to immunocompromised individuals. These findings have important public health implications and signal the need for regulations enforcing hygienic practices associated with these beverage dispensers.“

Healthy Older Adults With Subjective Memory Loss May Be at Increased Risk for MCI and Dementia “Forgot where you put your car keys? Having trouble recalling your colleague's name? If so, this may be a symptom of subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), the earliest sign of cognitive decline marked by situations such as when a person recognizes they can't remember a name like they used to or where they recently placed important objects the way they used to. Studies have shown that SCI is experienced by between one-quarter and one-half of the population over the age of 65. … A new study, published in the January 11, 2010, issue of the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia, finds that healthy older adults reporting SCI are 4.5 times more likely to progress to the more advanced memory-loss stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia than those free of SCI.”

Outcome over seven years of healthy adults with and without subjective cognitive impairment (Alzheimer's & Dementia 2010)

Medicine 2.0: Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

H1N1 Virus Spreads Easily by Plane “Scientists already know that smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, seasonal influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) can be transmitted during commercial flights. Now, in the first study to predict the number of H1N1 flu infections that could occur during a flight, UCLA researchers found that transmission during transatlantic travel could be fairly high.”

Organochlorine pesticides dieldrin and lindane induce cooperative toxicity in dopaminergic neurons: role of Oxidative Stress. (Neurotoxicology. 2009) These results demonstrate that dieldrin and lindane work cooperatively to induce DA neurotoxicity through the induction of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. These findings may advance understanding of the role of pesticides in the multi-factorial etiology of PD.”

Running Shoes May Cause Damage to Knees, Hips and Ankles, New Study Suggests “The researchers observed increased joint torques at the hip, knee and ankle with running shoes compared with running barefoot. Disproportionately large increases were observed in the hip internal rotation torque and in the knee flexion and knee varus torques. An average 54% increase in the hip internal rotation torque, a 36% increase in knee flexion torque, and a 38% increase in knee varus torque were measured when running in running shoes compared with barefoot. These findings confirm that while the typical construction of modern-day running shoes provides good support and protection of the foot itself, one negative effect is the increased stress on each of the 3 lower extremity joints. These increases are likely caused in large part by an elevated heel and increased material under the medial arch, both characteristic of today's running shoes.”

The effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on offspring outcomes. (Prev Med. 2009) “RESULTS: Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with decreased birth weight, low scholastic achievement, regular smoking and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was explained by maternal attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was also associated with earlier age of offspring initiation of smoking and onset of regular smoking.”

Migraine and cerebral infarction in young people (Neurological Sciences 2009) “In conclusion, migraine with aura appears to be associated with ischemic stroke in young women, independently from other common risk factors.”

Clinical Diagnosis of Heart Failure (Hospital Physician 2010)

Risk of developing dementia in people with diabetes and mild cognitive impairment. (Br J Psychiatry. 2010) “CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes mellitus increases not only the risks of dementia and mild cognitive impairment but also the risk of progression from such impairment to dementia.”

Persistent low-grade inflammation and regular exercise. (Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010) “Visceral adiposity contributes to systemic inflammation and is independently associated with the occurrence of CVD, type 2 diabetes and dementia. We suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise may be mediated via a long-term effect of exercise leading to a reduction in visceral fat mass and/or by induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines with each bout of exercise.”

Ranking 37th — Measuring the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System

Lowering Your Cholesterol

Smoking behavior in women with locally advanced cervical carcinoma: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study. (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009)

Toxic Effects of Lead and Mercury (Medscape Pediatrics 2009) “This article provides an overview of lead and mercury toxicity, including sources of exposure, adverse effects, treatment, and prevention. The primary goals are to impart an understanding of the toxicology of these metals[1] and to help the physician be prepared to counsel families on ways to prevent adverse effects from lead and mercury toxicity.[2] The article also discusses relevant medical literature for further study.”

Green Tea Drinking in Elderly Linked to Lower Risk for Depression

Addictive effects of caffeine on kids being studied by UB neurobiologist

New SBI and ACR recommendations suggest breast cancer screening should begin at age 40 “The new recommendations from the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) on breast cancer screening, published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), state that breast cancer screening should begin at age 40 and earlier in high-risk patients. The recommendations also suggest appropriate utilization of medical imaging modalities such as mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound for breast cancer screening. "The significant decrease in breast cancer mortality, which amounts to nearly 30 percent since 1990, is a major medical success and is due largely to earlier detection of breast cancer through mammography screening," said Carol H. Lee, MD. "For women with the highest risk of developing breast cancer, screening technologies in addition to mammography have been adopted," said Lee. “

Does Mattress Cleaning Treat Dust-Mite Allergies? “Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that live in mattresses, pillows, rugs and curtains and feed on people's flaked-off dead skin. They aren't harmful in themselves, but according to Darryl C. Zeldin, acting clinical director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, some 18% to 30% of Americans are allergic to the mites' waste products. A government-led study found that nearly half of all U.S. homes have levels of allergen significant enough to trigger a sensitivity even in people who weren't previously allergic, he adds. … Without scientific data to back them up, the mattress-cleaning services "are not on my list to recommend," says Dr. Zeldin. He recommends a do-it-yourself strategy: special, zippered covers that encase your mattress, pillows and box spring. While these don't immediately kill the mites, they reduce exposure to them and their debris. It's also helpful to wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week, wash stuffed animals regularly, get rid of clutter in the bedroom and remove carpets, Dr. Zeldin adds.”

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