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January 15, 2009, 8:49 PM CT

Spread the net

Spread the net
Every thirty seconds a child dies of malaria. It has just become a statistic. Millions of people around the world are being affected by this deadly disease and until recently little was done to provide relief. Spread The Net, spearheaded by Rick Mercer and Belinda Stronach, is a campaign geared toward raising money for a simple solution: bednets. Bednets are perhaps the most effective method of combating malaria, protecting a child in their sleep for up to five years.

Students from all across Canada have been asked to show their support to this cause by raising awareness and promoting this campaign. Now we ask for your aid in furthering this unique student effort, by donating to this campaign and giving a child the gift of hope. Just 10 bucks can help save a life. The following is a link to donate to the campaign in the official Spread The Net Website........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 7:18 PM CT

What is the key to a healthy lifestyle?

What is the key to a healthy lifestyle?
The main factors influencing the amount of physical exercise people carry out are their self-perceived ability and the extent of their desire to exercise. A study of 5167 Canadians, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, has shown that psychological concerns are the most important barriers to an active lifestyle.

Sai Yi Pan, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, led a team of scientists who carried out a study which examined data from a nationwide series of telephone interviews. She said "Our findings highlight the need for health promotion programs to enhance people's confidence and motivation, as well as providing education on the health benefits of physical activity".

One interview question asked participants how confident they were that they could regularly do a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (PA) three or four times a week and a total of 60 minutes of light PA each day. This 'self-efficacy' score was consistently found to be correlation to higher PA across gender, age group, education level and family income level. As per the authors, "Confidence in one's personal ability to carry out exercise plays a central role in the direction, intensity and persistence of health-behavior change. People who have higher PA self-efficacy will perceive fewer barriers to PA, or be less influenced by them, and will be more likely to enjoy PA".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 7:13 PM CT

Seniors with disabilities may get help from alcohol

Seniors with disabilities may get help from alcohol
It is well known that moderate drinking can have positive health benefits for instance, a couple of glasses of red wine a day can be good for the heart. But if you're a senior in good health, light to moderate consumption of alcohol may also help prevent the development of physical disability.

That's the conclusion of a new UCLA study, available in the online edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology, which observed that light to moderate drinking among these seniors reduced their odds of developing physical problems that would prevent them from performing common tasks such as walking, dressing and grooming.

"If you start out in good health, alcohol consumption at light to moderate levels can be beneficial," said lead study author Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "But if you don't start out healthy, alcohol will not give you a benefit." .

The scientists based their study on data from three waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey's Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (1982󈟀, 1987 and 1992). The sample, which included 4,276 people split evenly between male and female, was about 92 percent white, with a mean age of 60.4 years.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 7:01 PM CT

How aging undermines bone healing

How aging undermines bone healing
Scientists have unraveled crucial details of how aging causes broken bones to heal slowly, or not at all, as per study results published recently in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research The research team also successfully conducted preclinical tests on a potential new class of therapys designed to "rescue" healing capability lost to aging.

In the worst cases, an age-related delay in healing keeps the two sides of a fractured bone from ever rejoining (non-union), leaving a number of confined to wheelchairs, unable to walk or to live independently. Of the estimated 5.6 million fractures in the United States each year, between five and ten percent (up to 560,000) will heal slowly or incompletely. Scientists have known for 30 years that aging interferes with fracture healing, and have been filling in the details since on the complex web of biochemicals, stem cells and genes that bring about healing. The field is now reaching the point where precision designed drugs are in different stages of animal and human trials.

The current study is focused on cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), an enzyme known from past studies to drive stem cells to differentiate into cartilage, which then matures into bone. Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center 20 years ago discovered the gene in humans that is responsible for producing the COX-2 enzyme and revealed the enzyme's role in causing inflammation, the reason drugs like the painkiller Vioxx were developed to shut down its action. Then about seven years ago another research team here determined that COX-2 also plays an essential role in bone formation during skeletal repair.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 6:52 PM CT

Does increasing taxes on alcohol slow down drinking?

Does increasing taxes on alcohol slow down drinking?
With a number of local and national governments presently considering proposals to hike alcohol taxes, a newly released study published online in the February edition of Addiction journal finds that the higher the alcohol prices less likely people will drink. And when they do drink, they drink less. After analyzing 112 studies spanning nearly four decades, scientists documented a concrete association between the amount of alcohol people drink and its cost.

"Results from over 100 separate studies reporting over 1000 distinct statistical estimates are remarkably consistent, and show without doubt that alcohol taxes and prices affect drinking," said Alexander C. Wagenaar, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology and health policy research at the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the senior author of the study. "When prices go down, people drink more, and when prices go up, people drink less".

The consistency of the association between cost and consumption indicates that using taxes to raise prices on alcohol could be among the most effective deterrents to drinking that scientists have discovered, beating things like law enforcement, media campaigns or school programmes, said Wagenaar.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also determined that tax or price increases affect the large population of drinkers, including heavy drinkers also as light drinkers, including teens as well as adults.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 11:38 PM CT

Can coffee drinking increase risk of dementia?

Can coffee drinking increase risk of dementia?
Stockholm, Sweden -- Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's disease (AD) during the later part of life. This conclusion is made in a Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) Study reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Volume 16:1).

This study has been conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. The study included participants from the survivors of population-based cohorts previously surveyed within the North Karelia Project and the FINMONICA study in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (midlife visit). After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1409 individuals (71%) aged 65 to 79 completed the re-examination in 1998. A total of 61 cases were identified as demented (48 with AD).

"We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer's disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease," says lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto, from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 6:07 AM CT

You are Not What your Mother Eats

You are Not What your Mother Eats
Scientists S. Stanley Young, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, Heejung Bang, Ph.D., of Cornell University and Kutluk Oktay. MD, FACOG, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director, Division of Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology from New York Medical College, wrote a paper, "Cereal-Induced Gender Selection? Most Likely a Multiple Testing False Positive," which has been reported in the January 14, 2009 online issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B The paper questions the claims made by Mathews, Johnson and Neil (2008) in their article "You are What your Mother Eats" that was reported in the April 22, 2008 Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and generated over 50,000 Google hits due to media interest.

Young, Bang & Oktay note that the original research by Mathews, Johnson & Neil implied that children of women who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to be boys than girls. Young, Bang & Oktay assert that the result of the original study is easily explained as chance. Young, Bang & Oktay examined the data sets from the original study and noted that 132 food items were tested for two time periods, totaling 264 statistical tests.

With this a number of tests, it is quite likely that some apparent statistical significance will occur simply by chance.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 13, 2009, 11:37 PM CT

Physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away

Physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away
New research suggests that a healthier, more physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away with Dairy Council of California's MyFitness Planner.

Credit: Dairy Council of California

New research suggests that a healthier, more physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away with Dairy Council of California's MyFitness Planner.

Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, yet less than half of all American women (47.7 percent) engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity or greater physical activity on most days of the week. To help, Dairy Council of California developed MyFitness Planner, formerly called the Women's Fitness Planner.

A randomized control trial of 150 healthy adult women showed that MyFitness Planner's individually tailored Internet-plus-email physical activity intervention resulted in 37 minutes of increased walking and 48 minutes of increased total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week in comparison to a control group. Study results were reported in the recent issue of Preventive Medicine

A study led by Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, indicated that Dairy Council of California's online tool can positively impact women's physical activity levels. Results further showed that participants who clicked more links in the update emails trended toward greater activity by 10󈞀 minutes per week, regardless of socio-economic or education status.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 10:06 PM CT

Surprisingly high tolerance for racism

Surprisingly high tolerance for racism
White people do not get as upset when confronted with racial prejudice as they think they will, a study by scientists at Yale University, York University, and the University of British Columbia suggests. This indifference helps explains why racism persists even as the United States prepares to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama, scientists say.

Non-black participants who experienced a racial slur against a black person did not get as upset or react against the racist remark as they predicted they would, as per a research studyreported in the Jan. 9 issue of the journal Science This acquiescence in the face of racism leads to its perpetuation, because numerous studies have shown that people confronted after making slurs are much less likely to repeat the behavior in public or in private, said John Dovidio, Yale psychology expert and a co-author of the study.

"We have an unconscious bias that affects us in significant ways," Dovidio said.

The scientists studied 120 non-black participants who volunteered for the experiment and either directly experienced a racial incident or had the incident described to them. The first group watched a black man, posing as a fellow participant, slightly bump a white confederate also posing as a participant. After the black man left the room, the white confederate either said nothing, or "I hate it when black people do that," or said, "clumsy n____." Other groups did not directly experience the event but either read about it or watched it on videotape and were asked to predict their responses to the events.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 9:58 PM CT

Help for the overweight over the phone

Help for the overweight over the phone
Counselling via the phone and internet can help weight management in overweight individuals, as per a Dutch study reported in the open access journal, BMC Public Health

The project compared counselling via phone and e-mail with the standard practice of issuing self-help literature in approximately 1400 workers as an aid to weight management. The study was undertaken by a group led by Willem Van Mechelen of the Department of Public and Occupational Health/EMGO Institute of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This study was funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, The Netherlands Heart Foundation and Body@Work TNO-VUmc.

Globally, obesity rates are increasing. However, few people receive professional help in weight management programmes; the reasons for this are unknown. The face-to-face counselling of these programmes requires frequent visits to a therapy facility, making it less appealing for those with busy lifestyles. In cases like this, counselling by phone or via the internet appears to be of greater use. Trials evaluating phone counselling for weight loss programmes have shown mixed results, and few trials have reviewed e-mail based counselling, but those that have found the results encouraging. The impacts of the two have not, however, been compared.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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