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January 6, 2010, 4:24 PM CT

A lifetime of inactivity

A lifetime of inactivity
Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, as per a University of Alberta researcher.

Billy Strean, a professor in the U of A's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.

During his research, Strean heard from individuals who opened up about negative experiences with coaches and instructors, some from a number of years ago.

One study participant wrote, "I am a 51-year-old-woman whose childhood experiences with sports, especially as handled in school, were so negative that even as I write this my hands are sweating and I feel on the verge of tears. I have never experienced the humiliation nor felt the antipathy toward any other aspect of life as I do toward sports".

Strean hopes to raise awareness of such experiences so those who instruct children in sport will realize they have the ability to create either a fun and playful experience or an experience of humiliation.

Strean has tips for coaches and teachers, including putting attention on fun, connecting with friends and learning, and, until kids enter their teens, minimizing attention on outcomes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 6, 2010, 8:10 AM CT

Increasing sonogram use in pregnant women

Increasing sonogram use in pregnant women
Current use of prenatal ultrasounds in women with singleton pregnancies is 55% greater than in 1996, even in low-risk pregnancies. More than one-third (37%) of pregnant women now receive 3 or more ultrasound tests in the second and third trimesters of a given pregnancy, found an article http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj090979.pdf in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca. The increase in the use of multiple ultrasound scans per pregnancy has been more pronounced in low-risk than high-risk pregnancies, suggesting a need to review current practices.

Current guidelines recommend two ultrasounds in an uncomplicated pregnancy one in the first trimester and one in the second to screen for fetal and genetic anomalies.

The study included almost 1.4 million singleton pregnancies between 1996 and 2006 in Ontario, Canada's most populous province. It included both low-risk and high-risk pregnancies, the latter defined by the presence of a maternal comorbidity, need for genetics counselling or a previous complicated pregnancy. The study accounted for the recent introduction of first trimester nuchal translucency scanning.

The authors observed that almost 1 in 5 of all pregnant women including those at low-risk of complications now receive 4 or more ultrasounds in the second and third trimesters.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 6, 2010, 8:07 AM CT

Psychological debriefing in schools after traumatic events

Psychological debriefing in schools after traumatic events
There is no evidence to support psychological debriefing in schools after traumatic events such as violence, suicides and accidental death, which runs counter to current practice in some Canadian school jurisdictions, as per a commentary http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj091621.pdf in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca.

Recent systematic reviews indicate that psychological debriefing of adults does not prevent post-traumatic stress disorder and it may even increase the risk of this disorder. While there is little research on the effectiveness and safety of these interventions in schools, "the evidence clearly points to the ineffectiveness of these interventions in preventing post-traumatic stress disorder or any other psychiatric disorder in adults," write Magdalena Szumilas of the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health Team, Dalhousie University and coauthors.

Two programs, based on the empirically-supported principles of engendering feelings of safety, calmness, sense of self and community efficacy, connectedness and hope, show promise of effectiveness. Providing Psychological First Aid immediately after an incident and providing cognitive behavioural support for students with persistent distress weeks after a school trauma has ended appears to be helpful.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 6, 2010, 7:49 AM CT

Childhood trauma may cause migraine

Childhood trauma may cause migraine
Scientists from the American Headache Society's Women's Issues Section Research Consortium observed that occurence rate of childhood maltreatment, particularly emotional abuse and neglect, are prevalent in migraine patients. The study also observed that migraineurs reporting childhood emotional or physical abuse and/or neglect had a significantly higher number of comorbid pain conditions compared with those without a history of maltreatment. Full findings of the study appear in the recent issue of Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, published on behalf of the American Headache Society by Wiley-Blackwell.

As per a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local child protective services (CPS) investigated 3.2 million reports of child abuse or neglect in 2007. CPS classified 794,000 of these children as victims with 59% classified as child neglect; 4% were emotional abuse; 8% as sexual abuse; and 11% were physical abuse cases. Both population- and clinic-based studies, including the current study, have demonstrated an association between childhood maltreatment and an increased risk of migraine chronification years later.

To conduct this study, Gretchen E. Tietjen, M.D, from the University of Toledo Medical Center, and his colleagues, recruited a cross-sectional survey of headache clinic patients with physician-diagnosed migraine at 11 outpatient headache centers. Childhood maltreatment was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), a 28-item self-reported quantitative measure of childhood abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and neglect (physical and emotional). Self-reported physician-diagnosed history of comorbid pain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), interstitial cystitis (IC), and arthritis was recorded on the survey.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 9:04 AM CT

Nano Cocktail to Target Tumors

Nano Cocktail to Target Tumors
Doxorubicin-loaded liposomes are designed to kill tumors.
A team of scientists in California and Massachusetts has developed a "cocktail" of different nanometer-sized particles that work in concert within the bloodstream to locate, adhere to and kill malignant tumors.

"This study represents the first example of the benefits of employing a cooperative nanosystem to fight cancer," said Michael Sailor, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and the primary author of a paper describing the results, which is being published in a forthcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An early online version of the paper appeared last week.

In their study, the UC San Diego chemists, bioengineers at MIT and cell biologists at UC Santa Barbara developed a system containing two different nanomaterials the size of only a few nanometers, or a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, that can be injected into the bloodstream. One nanomaterial was designed to find and adhere to tumors in mice, while the second nanomaterial was fabricated to kill those tumors.

These researchers and others had previously designed nanometer-sized devices to attach to diseased cells or deliver drugs specifically to the diseased cells while ignoring healthy cells. But the functions of those devices, the scientists discovered, often conflicted with one another.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 8:51 AM CT

Pomegranate to prevent breast cancer?

Pomegranate to prevent breast cancer?
Eating fruit, such as pomegranates, that contain anti-aromatase phytochemicals reduces the occurence rate of hormone-dependent breast cancer, as per results of a study reported in the recent issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Pomegranate is enriched in a series of compounds known as ellagitannins that, as shown in this study, appear to be responsible for the anti-proliferative effect of the pomegranate.

"Phytochemicals suppress estrogen production that prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors," said principal investigator Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Tumor Cell Biology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.

Prior research has shown that pomegranate juice punica granatum L is high in antioxidant activity, which is generally attributed to the fruit's high polyphenol content. Ellagic acid found in pomegranates inhibits aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen. Aromatase plays a key role in breast carcinogenesis; therefore, the growth of breast cancer is inhibited.

Chen, along with Lynn Adams, Ph.D., a research fellow at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and his colleagues, reviewed whether phytochemicals in pomegranates can suppress aromatase and ultimately inhibit cancer growth.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 8:50 AM CT

Obesity now equals smoking in posing threat to quality of life

Obesity now equals smoking in posing threat to quality of life
As the US population becomes increasingly obese while smoking rates continue to decline, obesity has become an equal, if not greater, contributor to the burden of disease and shortening of healthy life compared to smoking. In an article reported in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, scientists from Columbia University and The City College of New York calculate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost due to obesity is now equal to, if not greater than, those lost due to smoking, both modifiable risk factors.

QALYs use preference-based measurements of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) which allow a person to state a relative preference for a given health outcome. Since one person may value a particular outcome differently than another person, these measures capture how each respondent views his or her own quality of life.

The 1993-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the largest ongoing state-based health survey of US adults, has conducted interviews of more than 3,500,000 individuals; annual interviews started with 102,263 in 1993 and culminated with 406,749 in 2008. This survey includes a set of questions that measures HRQOL, asking about recent poor health days and tracking overall physical and mental health of the population. The authors analyzed these data and converted the measures to QALYs lost due to smoking and obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 8:41 AM CT

Ffat mass helps build bone mass in girls

Ffat mass helps build bone mass in girls
As per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), fat mass is important in increasing bone size and thickness, but this effect may be stronger in girls than boys.

Lean mass is one of the strongest determinants of bone mass throughout life. Until now, it has been unclear whether fat mass and lean mass differ in how they influence bone development in boys and girls. Findings from prior studies have been inconsistent regarding whether fat mass has a positive or negative impact on bone development. This newly released study shows that fat mass is a strong stimulus for the accrual of cortical bone mass (hard outer layer of bone) in girls.

In this study, scientists used dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to determine total body fat mass and lean mass, and peripheral quantitative computer tomography (pQCT) to measure cortical bone mass at the mid-tibia, in 4,005 boys and girls with a mean age of 15.5 years. Eventhough lean mass was the major determinant of bone mass, fat mass also exerted an important positive influence, especially in girls, in which the effect was approximately 70 percent greater than in boys.

"The effect of fat mass on bone mass may be strongest in girls," said Jonathan Tobias, PhD, of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and main author of the study. "Girls clearly have more fat mass than boys and our findings show that whereas the greater lean mass in boys contributes to their greater cortical bone mass, this effect is partly counteracted by the greater fat mass in girls".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 8:40 AM CT

HIV-infected postmenopausal women

HIV-infected postmenopausal women
As per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), postmenopausal HIV-infected women have a high prevalence of low bone mineral density and high bone turnover placing them at high risk for future bone fractures.

"As HIV-infected individuals live longer with potent antiretroviral treatment (ART), metabolic complications such as low bone density and osteoporosis are increasingly recognized," said Michael Yin, MD of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and main author of the study. "Eventhough numbers of HIV-infected postmenopausal women are increasing and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for osteoporotic fractures, few studies have reviewed skeletal status in this group. We hypothesized that postmenopausal women might be especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of HIV infection or ART on the skeleton and our results indicate that this may indeed be the case".

To test their hypothesis, Yin and colleagues initiated a longitudinal study to assess bone health in 92 HIV-positive and 95 HIV-negative postmenopausal women. Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, femoral neck and hip as well as body composition were measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Scientists observed that HIV-positive postmenopausal women had lower bone mineral density at both the spine and hip than HIV-negative postmenopausal women.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 5, 2010, 8:39 AM CT

Celebrex may prevent skin cancers

Celebrex may prevent skin cancers
A widely-available anti-inflammatory prescription drug can reduce the risk of a common skin cancer in humans, as per a researcher at Stanford's School of Medicine. Eventhough oral administration of the drug, celecoxib, is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in some people, it's possible that topical application could have a safer, protective effect for people prone to developing the cancers, called basal cell carcinomas, the researcher believes.

"Basal cell carcinomas are the most common human cancer in the United States," said Jean Tang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology, "and their incidence is increasing steadily. This work identifies a possible way to prevent them." She and her colleagues dovetailed studies in mice with a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial in humans to reach their conclusions.

Tang was an assistant professor at UC-San Francisco and Children's Hospital Oakland when the trial was conducted. She is the main author of the research, which will be published in Cancer Prevention Research on Jan. 5. Tang also recently published a separate study in Cancer Causes Control showing that elderly men with relatively high levels of Vitamin D in their blood were less likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer than were men with lower levels of the vitamin.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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