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October 14, 2010, 7:27 AM CT

Yoga can counteract fibromyalgia

Yoga can counteract fibromyalgia
PORTLAND, Ore As per new research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University, yoga exercises may have the power to combat fibromyalgia a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain. The research is being reported in the November 10 online edition of the journal Pain and will appear online Thursday, Oct. 14.

"Prior research suggests that the most successful therapy for fibromyalgia involves a combination of medications, physical exercise and development of coping skills," said James Carson, Ph.D., a clinical health psychology expert and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. "Here, we specifically focused on yoga to determine whether it should be considered as a prescribed therapy and the extent to which it can be successful".

In this study, scientists enrolled 53 female study subjects previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The women were randomly assigned to two research groups. The first group participated in an eight-week yoga program, which included gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises and group discussions. The second group of women the control group received standard medicine therapys for fibromyalgia.

Following completion of the yoga program, scientists assessed each study subject using questionnaires and physical tests. The results were then compared with testing results obtained previous to the yoga classes. The members of the control group underwent the same assessments. In addition, each participant in the yoga group was urged to keep a daily diary to personally assess their condition throughout the entire program.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 12, 2010, 7:25 AM CT

New osteoporosis prevention guidelines

New osteoporosis prevention guidelines
Comprehensive new guidelines from the Osteoporosis Canada aimed at preventing fragility fractures in women and men over the age of 50 are published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal

"Fragility fractures, the consequence of osteoporosis, are responsible for excess mortality, morbidity, chronic pain, institutionalization and economic costs," writes Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences with coauthors. "They represent 80% of all fractures in menopausal women over age 50 and those with hip or vertebral fractures have substantially increased risk of death post-fracture".

Fewer than 20% of women and 10% of men with fragility fractures receive interventions to prevent future fractures, writes co-author Dr. Bill Leslie, University of Manitoba.

Since publication of the 2002 guidelines, focus has shifted to preventing fragility fractures and their negative outcomes. Because current data indicate many fracture patients are not appropriately assessed or treated, these new guidelines focus on identification and management of fractures and tools to assess risk. They are aimed at helping clinicians better manage fractures as well as osteoporosis in general in patients.

The guidelines include information on exercise, calcium and vitamin D supplementation, pharmacological therapies and risk management.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 11, 2010, 7:42 AM CT

Cancer-linked epigenetic effects of smoking

Cancer-linked epigenetic effects of smoking
For the first time, UK researchers have reported direct evidence that taking up smoking results in epigenetic changes linked to the development of cancer.

The results were reported at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy.

The link between smoking and cancer has been established for decades, explained Dr Yuk Ting Ma from the Cancer Research UK Institute of Cancer Studies, Birmingham, who presented the results. Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world, and years of research have confirmed that carcinogenic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA.

Researchers have also suspected that smoking causes so-called epigenetic changes, such as methylation, which alter gene expression without causing changes to the actual DNA sequence.

"Until now, however, there has been no direct evidence that smoking induces DNA methylation in humans," Dr Ma said. "Cross-sectional surveys restricted to patients with cancer have revealed that aberrant methylation of several tumor suppressor genes is linked to smoking. But such surveys cannot distinguish those epigenetic changes that are a consequence of the disease process from those which are directly attributable to smoking."

In a study funded by Cancer Research UK, the British team set out to clarify the link between smoking and methylation in a cohort of 2,011 healthy young women aged 15-19 who were originally recruited as part of a study of pre-malignant changes to cells of the cervix.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 11, 2010, 7:33 AM CT

Racial disparities in breast cancer care

Racial disparities in breast cancer care
Racial disparities in the receipt of breast cancer care persist despite accounting for patients' insurance and social and economic status. That is the conclusion of a study published early online in Cancer, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society. The findings suggest that greater efforts are needed to better understand disparities in breast cancer care and to ensure that all affected women receive equal and effective therapys.

Studies have demonstrated that black and Hispanic women are less likely to receive recommended breast cancer therapys than white women, but few studies have examined whether these differences in the receipt of breast cancer care are affected by patients' socioeconomic status and health insurance. Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston led a team that examined recommended breast cancer care (including localized treatment, hormone receptor testing, hormonal treatment, and chemotherapy) received by a large national sample of women with breast cancer. The scientists assessed whether insurance and socioeconomic factors were linked to any observed racial/ethnic differences in care.

The study included information from 662,117 white, black, and Hispanic women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1998 to 2005 at National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) hospitals. (The NCDB is a registry that collects patient demographics, tumor characteristics, first course of therapy, and outcomes for cancer patients treated at U.S. hospitals.) Most women were white (86 percent), 10 percent were black, and 4 percent were Hispanic. Most had private insurance (51 percent) or Medicare (41 percent).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 11, 2010, 7:30 AM CT

Study-abroad increase alcohol intake

Study-abroad increase alcohol intake
For most American students, spending a semester or two studying in a foreign country means the opportunity to improve foreign language skills and become immersed in a different culture. For others, studying abroad is more like a prolonged spring break: it can be months with fewer academic responsibilities, plentiful bars and alcohol, and parents far away.

New results from University of Washington scientists point to why some students drink more alcohol while abroad and suggest ways to intervene.

"We hear stories in the media and elsewhere about students going abroad, drinking too much and getting into trouble. But no one has ever measured this risky drinking behavior and there are no published studies of prevention strategies before they go abroad," said Eric Pedersen, a UW graduate student in psychology.

Like heavy drinking on campus, consequences of drinking while studying abroad can be mild, such as missed classes due to hangovers, or more severe, such as fights, injuries and regrettable sexual experiences. But heavy drinking while in a different country can present additional problems, including disrupted travel plans, promoting negative stereotypes of American students and even legal issues with a foreign government.

In the current issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Pedersen and co-authors report that students doubled how much they drank while they were away, upping their consumption from about four alcoholic drinks per week while at home to about eight drinks per week while they were abroad.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 8, 2010, 7:53 AM CT

US invested $139 billion in health research in 2009

US invested $139 billion in health research in 2009
U.S. invested $139 billion last year in health research from all public and private sources, as per Research!America's latest annual estimate. That amount represents only 5.6% of the $2.47 trillion overall U.S. health spending in 2009or 5.6 of every health dollarwhich varies no more than 0.2% from 2005 levels.

The estimate is available here: http://www.researchamerica.org/uploads/healthdollar09.pdf.

The 2009 investment grew by only 0.1% over 2008. This small increase can be attributed largely to the federal stimulus funding for research provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Federal research investment was nearly $46.8 billion in 2009, up from $38.6 billion in 2008.

"America's economic destiny lies in innovation, but other countries are stepping up, investing more and thus challenging our lead," said former Congressman John Edward Porter, Research!America's chair. "We need to invest in our federal research agencies for the long term. Our economic competitiveness and our future standard of living depend on it."

The effects of the economic recession can be seen throughout the other sectors that fund health research and developmentindustry, universities, state and local governments, philanthropic foundations, voluntary health associations, and independent research instituteswhere such investment remained essentially flat or declined in 2009. Industry was the largest source of health research funding in 2009 at $74.3 billion, down slightly from the previous year's $74.8 billion. All other sources combined invested $17.8 billion, compared with $17.1 billion in 2008.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 1, 2010, 5:34 AM CT

Empty calories into children's food supply

Empty calories into children's food supply
St. Louis, MO, October 1, 2010 With over 23 million children and adolescents in the US overweight or obese, the risks for a number of chronic diseases continue to increase. An article in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association examines the diets of American youth and finds some disturbing results.

"The epidemic of obesity among children and adolescents is now widely regarded as one of the most important public health problems in the US," commented Jill Reedy, PhD, MPH, RD, and Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, MPH, RD, both of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. "Most experts agree that the solution will involve changes in both diet and physical activity, in order to affect energy balance. For diet, this means a reduction in energy from current consumption levelsThis paper identifies the major sources of overall energy and empty calories, providing context for dietary guidance that could specifically focus on limiting calories from these sources and for changes in the food environment. Product reformulation alone is not sufficientthe flow of empty calories into the food supply must be reduced".

For 2-18 year olds, the top sources of energy were grain desserts, pizza, and soda. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda and fruit drinks combined) provided almost 10% of total calories consumed. Nearly 40% of total calories consumed by 2-18 year olds were in the form of empty calories from solid fat and from added sugars. Half of empty calories came from six foods: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 23, 2010, 6:58 AM CT

Career choice and disease in brain

Career choice and disease in brain
FTLD patients with professions ranked highly for verbal skills, such as chief executive, showed atrophy in right temporal lobe. In those with professions ranked lower for verbal skills, such as art director, atrophy was identified in left temporal lobe.

Credit: Baycrest

In an international study of patients with a devastating type of dementia that often strikes in middle age, scientists have found intriguing evidence that career choice may influence where the disease takes root in the brain.

The study was led by Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute in collaboration with the Memory and Aging Centre at the University of California, San Francisco and several U.S. and European clinical sites. It appears online today in the Article in Press section of the journal Neuropsychologia, ahead of publication.

Scientists conducted a multi-centre, retrospective chart review of brain imaging and occupation data from 588 patients diagnosed with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), sometimes referred to as frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Among the dementias affecting those 65 years and younger, FTLD is as common as Alzheimer's disease. Like Alzheimer's, it is progressive and fatal. Unlike Alzheimer's, which tends to affect both sides of the brain equally, FTLD often manifests on either the left or the right side of the brain, then becomes more widespread as the disease progresses. Typical symptoms include changes in personality and behaviour, and a decline in language skills.

For this study, each patient's occupation was rated with scores derived from an occupation database published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The scores indicated the skills mandatory for the occupation, including verbal, physical and visuospatial skills. For example, a school principal would receive a higher rating for verbal skills than for visuospatial skills, whereas a flight engineer would show the opposite pattern. Both of these professions would score lower on physical skills than a firefighter.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 23, 2010, 6:52 AM CT

Convenience stores with unhealthy food

Convenience stores with unhealthy food
Most studies of the food choices available near public schools have focused on fast food outlets rather than the full range of options available to schoolchildren. A newly released study by scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health examined the patterns of exposure to a broad range of food outlets for school children in New York City.

The study, "Disparities in the Food Environments of New York City Public Schools," is reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 39, Issue 3, and cited as the "Editor's Choice" in the September issue.

Using 2006-2007 data for New York City school locations, the paper describes the prevalence of five types of food outlets near schools. These included national chain and local fast-food restaurants, pizzerias, small grocery stores or bodegas, and convenience stores within 400 meters (437 yards) of public schools.

The scientists observed that 92.9% of students had a small grocery store within 400 meters of their school; these stores typically carry fewer healthy food options than larger grocery stores. In addition, 70.6% had a pizzeria within 400 meters, 48.9 % were that close to a convenience store, 43.2% were within 400 m. of a national chain fast-food restaurant, such as McDonald's or Burger King, and 33.9% were within 400 m. of a local fast-food chain restaurant.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 23, 2010, 6:42 AM CT

Losing your religion is unhealthy

Losing your religion is unhealthy
People who leave strict religious groups are more likely to say their health is worse than members who remain in the group, as per a Penn State researcher.

The percentage of people who left a strict religious group and reported they were in excellent health was about half that of people who stayed in the group, said Christopher Scheitle, senior research assistant, in sociology.

"Prior research showed some association between belonging to a religious group and positive health outcomes," Scheitle said. "We got interested in what would happen to your health if you left a religious group. Would people demonstrate any negative health outcomes?".

About 40 percent of members of strict religious groups reported they were in excellent health, as per the study. However, only 25 percent of members in those groups who switched to another religion reported they were in excellent health. The percentage of the strict religious group members who dropped out of religion completely and said their health was excellent fell to 20 percent. The difference between switchers and non-switchers, in reference to health, is statistically significant for the strict groups. The scientists reported their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior........

Posted by: Janet      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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