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September 9, 2010, 6:40 AM CT

Body weight colon cancer mortality link

Body weight colon cancer mortality link
Postmenopausal women diagnosed with colon cancer appears to be at increased risk of death if they fail to maintain a healthy body weight before cancer diagnosis, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The scientists observed that women considered "underweight" or "obese," or who had increased abdominal obesity previous to cancer diagnosis seemed to face a greater risk of mortality.

"Maintaining a healthy body weight is beneficial for postmenopausal women. This may also be beneficial for those diagnosed with colon cancer during the later part of life. It looks like abdominal obesity appears to be a useful indicator of higher colon cancer mortality," said Anna E. Prizment, Ph.D., M.P.H., a postdoctoral fellow in the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, Masonic Cancer Center. "It is too early to say whether a decrease in weight characteristics after diagnosis will also decrease mortality risk; at that point it appears to be too late. Therefore, it's best to maintain a normal, healthy body weight throughout life".

Prizment and his colleagues extracted data from the Iowa Women's Health Study, which included 1,096 women diagnosed with colon cancer who were observed over a maximum 20-year period. During that time, 493 died, of which 289 died from colon cancer.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:37 AM CT

High stress levels and mortality

High stress levels and mortality
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol strongly predict cardiovascular death among both persons with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease as per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

In stressful situations, the body responds by producing the hormone cortisol. The effects of cortisol are intended to help the body recover from stress and regain a status of homeostasis, however chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to cardiovascular risk factors, such as the metabolic syndrome and accelerated atherosclerosis.

"Prior studies have suggested that cortisol might increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality, but until now, no study had directly tested this hypothesis," said Nicole Vogelzangs, PhD, of VU University Medical Center in The Netherlands and main author of the study. "The results of our study clearly show that cortisol levels in a general older population predict cardiovascular death, but not other causes of mortality".

In this study, scientists reviewed 861 people aged 65 years and older who participated in a prospective cohort study. Within six years of the beginning of the study 183 participants had died. Urinary cortisol levels of subjects were measured at the beginning of the study and cause of death was ascertained from death certificates. Scientists observed that urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of non-cardiovascular mortality but did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. The third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:35 AM CT

Predicting weight regain after dieting

Predicting weight regain after dieting
A number of people have experienced the frustration that comes with regaining weight that was lost from dieting. As per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), the levels of appetite hormones in the body previous to dieting may serve as a predictor of weight regain after dieting.

"Treating obesity with drugs or dietary programs can be very effective in the short-term, but the long-term success of maintaining the weight lost is commonly poor," said Ana Crujeiras, PhD, of Compejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago in Spain and main author of the study. "Our study sheds light on how the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin affect weight regain after weight loss. This knowledge could be used as a tool to personalize weight-loss programs that could guarantee success in keeping off the weight".

In this study, scientists reviewed a group of 104 obese or overweight men and women during an 8-week low-calorie diet and again 32 weeks after therapy. Scientists measured body weight as well as plasma fasting ghrelin, leptin and insulin concentrations before, during and after dieting. They observed that subjects with higher plasma leptin and lower ghrelin levels before dieting were more prone to regain weight lost after dieting and that these hormone levels could be proposed as biomarkers for predicting obesity-treatment outcomes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:33 AM CT

Using medication for insomnia or anxiety?

Using medication for insomnia or anxiety?
Taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risk by 36%, as per a research studyconducted by Genevive Belleville, a professor at Universit Laval's School of Psychology. The details of this study are reported in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Dr. Belleville arrived at these results through analysis of 12 years of data on over 14,000 Canadians in Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey. The data includes information on the social demographics, lifestyle, and health of Canadians age 18 to 102, surveyed every two years between 1994 and 2007.

During this period, respondents who reported having used medicine to treat insomnia or anxiety at least once in the month preceding the survey had a mortality rate of 15.7%. Respondents who reported not having used such medications had a rate of 10.5%. After controlling for personal factors that might affect mortality risk, notably alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health, physical activity level, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms among participants, Dr. Belleville established that the consumption of sleeping pills or anxiety-relieving medications was linked to a 36% increase in the risk of death.

Many 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 that may occur during sleep. These medications are also central nervous system inhibitors that may affect judgment and thus increase the risk of suicide.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 8, 2010, 7:22 AM CT

New robotic head and neck cancer surgery

New robotic head and neck cancer surgery
TransOral Robotic Surgery, in progress, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The surgery, performed by Tamer A. Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., offers patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

Credit: Henry Ford Hospital

An incisionless robotic surgical procedure is offering patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is among the first in the country to perform TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) using the da Vinci Surgical System. Unlike traditional surgical approaches to head and neck cancer, TORS patients are able to return to their normal lives only a few days after surgery without significant pain and disfigurement.

"TORS offers shorter post-operative recovery than standard open surgical approaches, giving patients the opportunity to quickly and successfully return to their normal lives," says Tamer A. Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.

"TORS allows surgeons to completely remove tumors of the head and neck while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues such as eating. There also is no visible scaring or disfigurement".

Led by Dr. Ghanem, Henry Ford Hospital haccording toformed more than a dozen TORS procedures since it was approved in January by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove cancerous and non-malignant tumors of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and parts of the throat.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 8, 2010, 7:15 AM CT

Mapping a Brain Atlas

Mapping a Brain Atlas
Uncovering the secrets of the brain requires an intense network of collaborative research. Building on a tool that was co-developed in his laboratory and described in a recent issue of Brain, Dr. Yaniv Assaf of Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurobiology is collaborating with an international team of researchers to understand how different parts of the human brain "connect" - and to turn this information into a "brain atlas".

Brain scientists already know that autism and schizophrenia are not localized disorders - there is no one place in the brain they can be found. That's why a brain atlas will be an invaluable resource for understanding how parts of our brain connect to other parts within, leading to a deeper understanding of these diseases.

"It's currently impossible for clinicians to 'see' subtle disorders in the brain that might cause a life-threatening, devastating disability," says Dr. Assaf, whose most recent research was done in collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Developmental disorders like autism are thought to bea function of abnormal connections among different regions within the brain - like wires between telephone poles. In his research, Dr. Assaf looks at clusters of brain wiring, or axons, to help researchers produce a better working map of the brain for future research.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 8, 2010, 7:05 AM CT

Addressing negative thoughts

Addressing negative thoughts
Changing how a person perceives and thinks about others was the most effective intervention for loneliness, a sweeping analysis of prior research has determined. The findings may help physicians and psychology experts develop better therapys for loneliness, a known risk factor for heart disease and other health problems.

Recently, scientists have characterized the negative influence of loneliness upon blood pressure, sleep quality, dementia, and other health measures. Those effects suggest that loneliness is a health risk factor, similar to obesity or smoking, which can be targeted to improve patients' health in several dimensions.

"People are becoming more isolated, and this health problem is likely to grow," said John Cacioppo, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. "If we know that loneliness is involved in health problems, the next question is what we can do to mitigate it".

To determine the most effective method for reducing loneliness, Cacioppo and a team of scientists from the University of Chicago examined the long history of research on the topic. Reported in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, their quantitative review observed that the best interventions targeted social cognition rather than social skills or opportunities for social interaction.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 7, 2010, 7:41 AM CT

Depression in the first year after child's birth

Depression in the first year after child's birth
More than one-third of mothers and about one-fifth of fathers in the United Kingdom appear to experience an episode of depression between their child's birth and 12th year of age, with the highest rates in the first year after birth, as per a report posted online today that will appear in the November print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Depression in parents is linked to adverse behavioral, developmental and cognitive outcomes in their children," the authors write as background information in the article. "While the maternal depression and child outcome literature is well established, there are fewer studies on paternal depression. There is evidence that paternal depression is not uncommon, with rates higher than those in the general adult male population; however, a wide range of prevalence rates for paternal depression have been reported".

Shreya Dav, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc., of the Medical Research Council, London, England, and his colleagues examined incidence, trends and correlates of parental depression in 86,957 families seen in U.K. primary care facilities between 1993 and 2007. Mothers and fathers with depression were identified using diagnostic codes and pharmacy records.

Overall, between their children's birth and age 12, 19,286 mothers had a total of 25,176 episodes of depression and 8,012 fathers had a total of 9,683 episodes of depression. The depression rate was 7.53 per 100 mothers per year and 2.69 per 100 fathers per year. The highest rates were observed in the first year after the birth of a child, with 13.93 per 100 mothers and 3.56 per 100 fathers experiencing depression in that period.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 7, 2010, 7:41 AM CT

The brain speaks

The brain speaks
In an early step toward letting severely paralyzed people speak with their thoughts, University of Utah scientists translated brain signals into words using two grids of 16 microelectrodes implanted beneath the skull but atop the brain.

"We have been able to decode spoken words using only signals from the brain with a device that has promise for long-term use in paralyzed patients who cannot now speak," says Bradley Greger, an assistant professor of bioengineering.

Because the method needs much more improvement and involves placing electrodes on the brain, he expects it will be a few years before clinical trials on paralyzed people who cannot speak due to so-called "locked-in syndrome".

The Journal of Neural Engineering's September issue is publishing Greger's study showing the feasibility of translating brain signals into computer-spoken words.

The University of Utah research team placed grids of tiny microelectrodes over speech centers in the brain of a volunteer with severe epileptic seizures. The man already had a craniotomy temporary partial skull removal so doctors could place larger, conventional electrodes to locate the source of his seizures and surgically stop them.

Using the experimental microelectrodes, the researchers recorded brain signals as the patient repeatedly read each of 10 words that might be useful to a paralyzed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 7, 2010, 7:40 AM CT

Carbohydrate claims can mislead consumers

Carbohydrate claims can mislead consumers
Food manufacturers advertise a variety of foods on grocery store shelves by using nutrient claims on the front of packaging. A study in the September/recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior evaluates how consumers are interpreting certain carbohydrate-related content claims and the effects of claims on consumer perceptions of food products. Findings from this study reveal that consumers misinterpret low carbohydrate claims to have health benefits and weight loss qualities beyond their nutrition facts.

In the early 2000s, low-carbohydrate claims gained huge popularity in response to such books as Dr. Atkin's New Diet Revolution and The South Beach Diet. As per a research findings published in AC Nielsen Consumer Insights, it was noted that there was a 516% sales increase in low-carbohydrate food products from 2001 to 2005 showing that front of package claims can play a large part in consumer decisions.

Existing research suggests that consumers are less likely to turn to the back of a package to look at the Nutrition Facts panel when there is a claim on the front of the package. In the newly released study, scientists at the United States Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition sought to determine whether low-carbohydrate claims might lead consumers to perceive products to have benefits that are not necessarily correlation to being low in carbohydrate. Using an online questionnaire, 4,320 consumer panelists rated products for their perceived healthfulness, helpfulness for weight management, and caloric content based on front-of-package-only conditions (nutrition claims versus no nutrition claims) and availability of Nutrition Facts panels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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