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March 26, 2009, 9:36 PM CT

Do Americans have an identity crisis?

Do Americans have an identity crisis?
Say goodbye to Italian-Americans and German-Americans and say hello to Vietnamese-Americans, Salvadoran-Americans and a bunch of other hyphenated Americans.

The way people identify themselves in the United States is changing, and the way the federal census classifies them by race or ethnicity isn't painting a clear portrait of America, as per new research.

University of Washington demographers who analyzed 2000 census data contend that because of the way the census was structured a number of Hispanics or Latinos were eventually lumped into a category called "some other race." So a number of were placed in that category that it was the third-largest group behind whites and blacks in the census. This led to mistaken reports last year that whites, as opposed to non-Hispanic whites, were projected to be a minority in the U.S. by 2050. Actually, whites including Hispanic whites are expected to comprise upwards of 70 percent of the population in 2050.

"The truth is a number of people probably can't accurately report the origins of their ancestors," said Anthony Perez, main author of a newly released study and a UW post-doctoral fellow in sociology and the university's Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. His co-author is Charles Hirschman, a UW professor of sociology and former president of the Population Association of America. The research appears in the recent issue of the journal Population and Development Review........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 26, 2009, 9:34 PM CT

Exercise and Migraine

Exercise and Migraine
While physical exercise has been shown to trigger migraine headaches among sufferers, a newly released study describes an exercise program that is well tolerated by patients. The findings show that the program decreased the frequency of headaches and improved quality of life. The study is published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.

The study used a sample of migraine sufferers who were examined before, during and after an aerobic exercise intervention. The program was based on indoor cycling (for continuous aerobic exercise) and was designed to improve maximal oxygen uptake without worsening the patients' migraines.

After the therapy period, patients' maximum oxygen uptake increased significantly. There was no worsening of migraine status at any time during the study period and, during the last month of therapy, there was a significant decrease in the number of migraine attacks, the number of days with migraine per month, headache intensity and amount of headache medicine used.

Individuals with headache and migraine typically are less physically active than those without headache. Patients with migraine often avoid exercise, resulting in less aerobic endurance and flexibility. Therefore, well designed studies of exercise in patients with migraine are imperative.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 26, 2009, 9:27 PM CT

Cholesterol crystals and heart attack

Cholesterol crystals and heart attack
The protruding elements seen in the different slides are cholesterol crystals. Those elements are arising from within the artery wall, causing tearing and damage to the artery. The colors have been added for enhancement and imagery.

For the first time ever, a Michigan State University researcher has shown cholesterol crystals can disrupt plaque in a patient's cardiovascular system, causing a heart attack or stroke.

The findings by a team led by George Abela, chief of the cardiology division in MSU's College of Human Medicine, could dramatically shift the way doctors and scientists approach cardiovascular attacks. Abela's findings are reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

"Any time there is something completely new or unique in medical research, it is met with healthy skepticism," said Abela, who has been working with cholesterol crystals since 2001. "But we have found something that can help dramatically change how we treat heart disease".

What Abela and his team found is that as cholesterol builds up along the wall of an artery, it crystallizes from a liquid to a solid state and then expands.

"As the cholesterol crystallizes, two things can happen," Abela said. "If it's a big pool of cholesterol, it will expand, causing the 'cap' of the deposit to tear off in the arterial wall. Or the crystals, which are sharp, needle-like structures, poke their way through the cap covering the cholesterol deposit, like nails through wood".

The crystals then work their way into the bloodstream. It is the presence of this material, as well as damage to an artery, that disrupts plaque and puts the body's natural defense mechanism - clotting - into action, which can lead to dangerous, if not fatal, clots.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 25, 2009, 10:02 PM CT

Daily consumption cannabis may lead to psychosis

Daily consumption cannabis may lead to psychosis
The daily consumption of cannabis predisposes to the appearance of psychosis and schizophrenia, and those episodes of psychosis which are fruit of this substance present certain specific characteristics, both before their appearance and in the clinical presentation of the psychosis. This is one of the conclusions of the doctoral thesis "Neurodevelopment and environmental stress in initial psychosis: transversal analysis of the ESPIGAS study", carried out by researcher Miguel Ruiz Veguilla, of the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Granada (Spain) and supervised by professors Manuel Gurpegui Fernndez de Legaria and Jorge Cervilla Ballesteros Ruiz Veguilla is also the person in charge fo the Unit of Development Neuropsychiatry of Jan (Spain).

This work has studied the risk factors linked to schizophrenia, identifying and characterizing in depth those psychosis linked to a continual consumption of cannabis. They carried out a study with 92 subjects, 50 of which had developed a psychosis without presenting signs of an "abnormal neurodevelopment", this is, they had been doing well academically, they had a group of friends (no social isolation) and they presented a good motor coordination. In addition, these subjects did not show a family history of episodes of psychosis in first or second degree.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2009, 9:58 PM CT

Mixed messages from TV shows

Mixed messages from TV shows
EPA is releasing a new approach to advance the science upon which the agency bases its regulatory decisions and policies, resulting in better protection for human health and the environment. Today, EPA released the "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Strategic Plan for Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals."

This strategic plan outlines a new scientific approach that will allow EPA to assess risks from many chemicals and mixtures by adopting new toxicity testing methods that use recent advances in molecular biology, genomics, and computational sciences.

When fully implemented, EPA will be able to screen thousands of environmental chemicals quickly for potentially harmful effects. The strategic plan will also allow EPA scientists to look at how children may react differently to the same chemicals as adults, thus providing better health protection for children. ........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2009, 9:35 PM CT

What influeces floral purchase

What influeces floral purchase
Scientific studies of "consumption value" explore the reasons consumers choose particular products and provide marketers with ways to analyze consumer behavior and influence purchasing. Studying the value of consumption is believed to have diagnostic value in the analysis of consumer choice behavior and, therefore, is helpful in improving the efficiency of the market. To enhance efficiency and promotion, it is essential for marketers to know the consumption value that buyers place on products.

Tzu-Fang Yeh and Li-Chun Huang from Da-Yeh University in Changhua, Taiwan, and National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, recently published a research report in the American Society of Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology The study's objective was to identify the consumption value that consumers seek from floral products, while clarifying the context of these values.

Men and women from three main cities in Taiwan were sampled to represent a population living an urban lifestyle. To compare differences in the consumption values, both genders of consumers from rural areas also participated in the survey. From a consumer survey of 33 questions, 644 valid questionnaires were analyzed.

The scientists discovered that "the statistical results of the analysis revealed that sensory hedonics, emotion conditioning, curiosity fulfillment, monetary worth, and showing care to others were the main types of the consumption values correlation to floral products".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 24, 2009, 6:18 AM CT

Intensive insulin therapy has its own risks

Intensive insulin therapy has its own risks
Intensive insulin treatment increases significantly the risk of hypoglycemia in critically ill patients, found a newly released study in CMAJ (http://www.cmaj.ca/press/cmaj.090206.pdf).

Intensive insulin treatment is used in a number of intensive care units around the world as a means to tightly regulate blood sugar. Eventhough labour intensive, it has been recommended as a standard of care for critically ill patients by a number of organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

A randomized trial in 2001 reported that intensive insulin treatment significantly reduced hospital mortality, eventhough subsequent trials have reported inconsistent effects on mortality and higher rates of severe hypoglycemia.

The CMAJ study includes data from 26 trials, including the NICE-SUGAR Study on intensive insulin treatment, an international, multicentre randomized trial that is the largest intensive insulin treatment trial to date. The NICE-SUGAR study is published online in the New England Journal (NEJM) March 24, 2009 and March 26 for the print edition.

"By including the largest trial on intensive insulin treatment published to date, we provide the most current and precise estimate of the effect of intensive insulin treatment on vital status and hypoglycemia in the ICU setting," write Dr. Donald Griesdale, anesthesiologist and critical care doctor at Vancouver General Hospital and clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia, and coauthors.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 23, 2009, 10:09 PM CT

Read meat consumption may be dangerous

Read meat consumption may be dangerous
Individuals who eat more red meat and processed meat appear to have a modestly increased risk of death from all causes and also from cancer or heart disease over a 10-year period, as per a report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In contrast, a higher intake of white meat appeared to be linked to a slightly decreased risk for overall death and cancer death.

"Meat intake varies substantially around the world, but the impact of consuming higher levels of meat in relation to chronic disease mortality [death] is ambiguous," the authors write as background information in the article.

Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Md., assessed the association between meat intake and risk of death among more than 500,000 individuals who were part of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants, who were between 50 and 71 years old when the study began in 1995, provided demographic information and completed a food frequency questionnaire to estimate their intake of white, red and processed meats. They were then followed for 10 years through Social Security Administration Death Master File and National Death Index databases.

During the follow-up period, 47,976 men and 23,276 women died. The one-fifth of men and women who ate the most red meat (a median or midpoint of 62.5 grams per 1,000 calories per day) had a higher risk for overall death, death from heart disease and death from cancer than the one-fifth of men and women who ate the least red meat (a median of 9.8 grams per 1,000 calories per day), as did the one-fifth of men and women who ate the most vs. the least amount of processed meat (a median of 22.6 grams vs. 1.6 grams per 1,000 calories per day).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 23, 2009, 10:05 PM CT

Smoking may be lead to pancreatitis

Smoking may be lead to pancreatitis
Smoking may be linked to an increased risk of acute and chronic pancreatitis, as per a report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, the risk of developing the disease appears to be higher in those who smoke more.

The occurrence of pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas commonly characterized by abdominal pain) has increased in recent decades, as per background information in the article. Acute and chronic pancreatitis are thought to beusually caused by gallstone disease and excessive alcohol use, respectively. Studies have suggested that smoking appears to be linked to damage to the pancreas, but since smoking appears to be linked to alcohol use and risk of gallstone disease, it is difficult to note whether smoking is an independent risk factor for the disease.

Janne Schurmann Tolstrup, M.Sc., Ph.D., of the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, and his colleagues analyzed results from physical examinations and lifestyle habit self-administered questionnaires of 17,905 participants (9,573 women and 8,332 men) to determine if smoking was linked to an increased risk of acute or chronic pancreatitis independent of alcohol consumption and gallstone disease. Participants were followed up for an average of 20.2 years.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 23, 2009, 10:03 PM CT

Vitamin D supplements leads to improved bone health

Vitamin D supplements leads to improved bone health
Oral vitamin D supplements at a dose of at least 400 international units per day are linked to a reduced risk of bone fractures in elderly adults, as per results of a meta-analysis reported in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"The anti-fracture benefits of vitamin D have been questioned by several recent trials, leading to uncertainty among patients and physicians regarding recommendations for vitamin D supplementation," the authors write as background information in the article. "Factors that may obscure a benefit of vitamin D are low adherence to therapy, low dose of vitamin D or the use of less potent ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)".

Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, Dr.P.H., of the University of Zurich, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, and his colleagues performed a meta-analysis on 12 previously published clinical trials of oral vitamin D supplements among adults age 65 or older. These double-blind randomized controlled trials involved 42,279 participants (average age 78) and looked at non-vertebral (non-spinal) fractures, including eight trials of 40,886 participants specifically studying hip fractures.

When the results of the trials were pooled, vitamin D supplements decreased the risk of non-vertebral fractures by 14 percent and of hip fractures by 9 percent. The authors then pooled the results of only the nine trials in which participants received doses of more than 400 international units per day. At this dosage, vitamin D supplements reduced non-vertebral fractures by 20 percent and hip fractures by 18 percent. Doses of 400 international units per day or lower did not reduce the risk of either fracture type. A greater reduction in risk was also seen among trial participants whose blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (a usually used measure of blood vitamin D levels) achieved a greater increase.........

Posted by: Janet      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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