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July 31, 2009, 0:21 AM CT

Summer heat increases risk of amniotic fluid level deficiency

Summer heat increases risk of amniotic fluid level deficiency
BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL -- July 30, 2009 Pregnant women have a higher occurence rate of insufficient amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios) in the summer months due to dehydration, as per a research studyconducted by scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

The retrospective population-based study was reported in the recent issue of Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics The main objective of the study was to determine whether the summer season is a risk factor for oligohydramnios, by comparing the frequency of amniotic fluid loss during the summer months versus its frequency during the rest of the year.

In the study at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, the scientists reviewed pregnancies of patients with oligohydramnios that delivered from May to August during the years 1988-2007.

After excluding other causes of fluid loss, such as premature rupture of membranes, intra-uterine growth restriction or malformations, the study determined that higher rates of oligohydramnios were found in the summer months as in comparison to the rest of the year.

During the study period, there were 191,558 deliveries of which 4,335 were diagnosed with idiopathic oligohydramnios. Of these, a proportionally higher number, 1,553 deliveries (36 percent), occurred during these four summer months, while 2,782 deliveries occurred during the other eight months of the year (64 percent).........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


July 29, 2009, 11:12 PM CT

Mothers need infant feeding information

Mothers need infant feeding information
A systematic literature review of mothers' experiences with bottle-feeding observed that while mothers recognize the benefits of breastfeeding, those who bottle-feed with infant formula do not receive adequate information and support from their healthcare providers and thus, ultimately put their baby's health at risk. "While it is important to promote breastfeeding," the authors conclude, "it is also necessary to ensure that the needs of bottle-feeding mothers are not overlooked".

To help meet this need, the International Formula Council* (IFC) provides helpful online resources, including video and print information that review the basics of safe infant formula preparation (available through the www.infantformula.org website). "One of our goals as an association is to help parents make informed infant feeding choices. Infant formula manufacturers have long provided their own brand-specific information on infant formula labels and websites. Our online tools build on these resources and offer parents practical tips that help them prepare and store infant formula appropriately," said Mardi Mountford, IFC Executive Vice President.

The literature review the first of its kind appears in the July 2009 Archives of Disease in Childhood, a publication of the peer-evaluated British Medical Journal, and was conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge. A major finding of the review, which examined 23 studies (seven from the United States, 14 from the United Kingdom, one from New Zealand, and one from Australia) with over 13,000 participants, was that mothers who did not receive bottle-feeding information from their healthcare providers often turned to family and friends for guidance a trend which can perpetuate errors in infant formula preparation and handling.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


July 27, 2009, 10:48 PM CT

Anesthesia not harmful for babies during birth process

Anesthesia not harmful for babies during birth process
Mayo Clinic scientists have observed that children exposed to anesthesia during Cesarean section are not at any higher risk for learning disabilities during the later part of life than children not delivered by C-section. These findings are published in the current issue of the journal Anesthesiology

"We observed that the occurence rate of learning disabilities was equal between children who were delivered vaginally and those who were delivered via C-section but with general anesthesia," says Juraj Sprung, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist who led the study. "It's reassuring that the anesthetics mandatory for Cesarean delivery do not appear to cause long-term brain problems".

The study was conducted with data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Scientists analyzed the medical records of 5,320 children born between 1976 and 1982 to mothers living in Olmsted County. They compared birth records with scholastic achievement and IQ tests administered to the children during the later part of life as part of their schooling.

The study builds on a prior project, reported in March, which observed that children exposed to a single dose of anesthesia during the first three years of life had no increased risk for learning disabilities, but those exposed multiple times had an almost doubled risk for later identification of learning disabilities.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


July 21, 2009, 11:18 PM CT

Weight guidelines for women pregnant with twins

Weight guidelines for women pregnant with twins
Barbara Luke, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Healthy, normal-weight women pregnant with twins should gain between 37 and 54 pounds, as per research from a Michigan State University professor who helped shape the recently released national guidelines on gestational weight gain.

Barbara Luke, a professor in the College of Human Medicine's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Department of Epidemiology, helped create the guidelines for the Institute of Medicine. Her research also found overweight women should gain between 31 and 50 pounds, while obese women should gain 25 to 42 pounds.

The parameters are based on a woman's prepregnancy body mass index.

"This amount and pattern of weight gain has been shown to be linked to the best growth before birth and the healthiest mothers throughout pregnancy," Luke said. "By setting weight gain goals based on a woman's prepregnancy BMI, it will be possible to maintain a trajectory of fetal growth for twins that results in more optimal birth weight with lower neonatal morbidity.

"With twin pregnancies continuing to rise every year, these new guidelines will be very beneficial".

The guidelines are important, Luke said, because while only 3 percent of live births involve twins, they do make up a disproportionate number of premature, low-birth-weight and growth-retarded births. Twins are seven times more likely to die before their first birthday.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


June 11, 2009, 5:11 AM CT

Depressed mood may lead to premature birth

Depressed mood may lead to premature birth
Scientists trying to uncover why premature birth is a growing problem in the United States and one that disproportionately affects black women have observed that pre-pregnancy depressive mood may be a risk factor in preterm birth among both blacks and whites.

Black women, however, have nearly two times the odds of having a preterm birth in comparison to white women, as per Amelia Gavin, a University of Washington assistant professor of social work and main author of a newly released study that appears online in the recent issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

"Preterm births are one of the most significant health disparities in the United States and the overall number of these births increased from 10.6 percent in 2000 to 12.8 percent in 2005," she said.

While there may be some sort of link between giving birth prematurely and depressed mood, the study found no cause and effect, said Gavin, who studies health disparities. She believes the higher preterm birth rate among blacks appears to be the result of declining health over time among black women.

For this study, premature birth referred to any child born after less than 37 weeks of gestation. Normal gestation ranges from 38 to 42 weeks. Data for the study was drawn from a larger longitudinal investigation looking at the risks for cardiovascular disease among more than 5,000 young adults in four metropolitan areas. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study also collected information about mental health and pregnancy outcomes. Between 1990 and 1996, 555 women in the larger study gave birth. These women were the subjects in the depression-premature birth study.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


June 11, 2009, 5:03 AM CT

Snoring pregnant women

Snoring pregnant women
If you are pregnant and your mate complains your frequent snoring is rattling the bedroom windows, you may have bigger problems than an annoyed, sleep-deprived partner.

A newly released study from scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has observed that women who reported frequent snoring during their pregnancy were more likely to develop gestational diabetes -- a condition than can cause health problems for the mother and baby. The study also found pregnancy increases the likelihood that a woman will snore.

This is the first study to report a link between snoring and gestational diabetes.

For the study, 189 healthy women completed a sleep survey at the time of enrollment (six to 20 weeks gestation) and in the third trimester.

Pregnant women who were frequent snorers had a 14.3 percent chance of developing gestational diabetes, while women who did not snore had a 3.3 percent chance. Even when scientists controlled for other factors that could contribute to gestational diabetes such as body mass index, age, race and ethnicity, frequent snoring was still.

linked to the disease.

Principal investigator Francesca Facco, M.D., a fellow at Northwestern's Feinberg School, will present her findings at the SLEEP 2009 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies June 11.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 20, 2009, 6:54 PM CT

Risk of Gestational diabetes

Risk of Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes happens in more than three per cent of pregnancies in Ontario. Commonly the condition resolves itself after delivery, but a number of studies have shown that these women are at a very high risk for developing "regular" type 2 diabetes during the later part of life. New research out of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) has observed that even women with mild abnormalities in their blood sugar during pregnancy, previously thought not to have any clinical significance, are 2.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to those who had completely normal glucose testing.
  • To test for gestational diabetes, women receive a glucose challenge test (GCT) in the late second trimester of pregnancy. If the result of this test is abnormal, they go on to have a diagnostic test, called the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). If this test does not show gestational diabetes, women are reassured their glucose levels are normal and that no further testing is needed.
  • However, recent studies have suggested that women who have even mild abnormalities on either the GCT or the OGTT do actually have subtle differences in their metabolism after pregnancy.
  • The study examined 15,000 pregnant women aged 20-49 in Ontario who had a mild abnormality on their GCT but did not ultimately get diagnosed with gestational diabetes. They were in comparison to about 60,000 pregnant women who did not have abnormalities on their GCT. The women were followed for 6.4 years after delivery, and those who had had an abnormal GCT were 2.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to those who had not had an abnormal GCT.
........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 20, 2009, 5:22 AM CT

Post menopausal hormone replacement and breast cancer

Post menopausal hormone replacement and breast cancer
The risk of developing breast cancer due to taking hormone replacement treatment may be the same for women with a family history of the disease and without a family history, a University of Rochester Medical Center study concluded.

The study, published online this week in the journal Epidemiology, adds to the evolving picture of what factors, either alone or in combination, boost breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. It also refutes the notion, held by a number of in the medical community, that a familial predisposition to breast cancer enhances the carcinogenic effects of estrogen.

"Eventhough we know that family history is a risk factor, we don't know yet what it is about family history that conveys the risk," said Robert E. Gramling, M.D., D.Sc., assistant professor of Family Medicine and of Community and Preventive Medicine at URMC. "Some have proposed that it might be an increased sensitivity to estrogen, but our data did not support that notion. In fact, this study suggests the causal pathway based on family history is probably not estrogen sensitivity".

Scientists analyzed data from the Women's Health Initiative randomized trial, which followed 16,608 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, who took hormone replacement treatment (HRT) or a placebo pill between 1993 and 2002. Among the participants, 349 cases of invasive breast cancer occurred during a mean follow-up period of 5.6 years.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 18, 2009, 5:30 AM CT

Genetic links to age of first menstrual period and menopause

Genetic links to age of first menstrual period and menopause
Newly identified gene variants linked to the age at which females experience their first menstrual period and the onset of menopause may help shed light on the prevention of breast and endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

In a newly released study, scientists from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT report that they have identified 10 genetic variants in two chromosomal regions linked to age at menarche (the first menstrual period), and 13 genetic variants in four chromosomal regions linked to age at natural menopause. The paper, "Genome-wide association studies identify loci linked to age at menarche and at natural menopause," will publish online in Nature Genetics on May 17, 2009 ( http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html ).

Menarche and natural menopause are two important physiological events in a woman's life. An early onset of menarche and later menopause are well-established risk factors for the development of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, the scientists explain. Conversely, early menopause increases risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

Prior studies have suggested both menarche and menopause appears to be partially under genetic control. To identify common genetic variants influencing these states, the scientists analyzed more than 317,000 gene variants in a total of 17,438 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS) based at BWH.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 15, 2009, 5:29 AM CT

Quitting smoking during pregnancy?

Quitting smoking during pregnancy?
Scientists from the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Bristol, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health, have identified a common genetic variant that explains why some women may find it more difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy.

Their paper, "A common genetic variant in 15q24 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster (CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4) is linked to a reduced ability of women to quit smoking in pregnancy", is published in Human Molecular Genetics

Maternal smoking during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight and problems at birth. Statistically, women are more likely to quit smoking during pregnancy that at any other time in the lives, but some pregnant women continue to smoke despite a strong and direct public health message.

The study tested whether a genetic variant that is correlation to greater cigarette consumption was also responsible for a reduced likelihood of quitting smoking during pregnancy.

The research team studied 7,845 women of European descent from the South West of England. Using 2,474 women who smoked regularly immediately before they became pregnant, the association between the variant and smoking cessation and smoking quantity during pregnancy was analysed.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
The addition of testosterone to hormone therapy in women after menopause enhances their sexual function. However, it may also reduce HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) in women, according to a systematic review of current evidence."If the reduction in HDL had been associated with an increase in triglycerides [fatty acids] or LDL cholesterol it would be of great concern," said Dr. Susan Davis, professor of medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and study co-author "However, as an isolated finding the significance is difficult to interpret." She added, "Testosterone has not been found to alter other coronary heart disease risk factors.".

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