August 2, 2009, 11:06 PM CT
Income and education associated with sugar consumption
The intake of added sugars in the United States is excessive, estimated by the US Department of Agriculture in 1999-2002 as 17% of calories a day. Consuming foods with added sugars displaces nutrient-dense foods in the diet. Reducing or limiting intake of added sugars is an important objective in providing overall dietary guidance. In a study of nearly 30,000 Americans reported in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association
, scientists report that race/ethnicity, family income and educational status are independently linked to intake of added sugars. Groups with low income and education are especially vulnerable to eating diets with high added sugars.
There are differences within race/ethnicity groups that suggest that interventions aimed at reducing the intake of added sugars should be tailored to each group. Using data from adults (≥18 years) participating in the 2005 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD, and Information Management Services, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, analyzed responses to questions about added sugars. Both NCI and NHLBI are part of the National Institutes of Health.........
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August 2, 2009, 11:04 PM CT
Lung cancer patients respond to erlotinib following cetuximab therapy
Non-small cell patients with lung cancer who have progressed on a cetuximab-containing regimen may respond to erlotinib, Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists reported today at the annual meeting of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Both cetuximab (Erbitux) and erlotinib (Tarceva) inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the assumption has been that once a patient progresses on one EGFR inhibitor they will not respond to another EGFR inhibitor. The new data suggests that may not be the case.
"Just because a patient received and progressed on one EGFR inhibitor doesn't necessarily mean they will not derive clinical benefit from another one," says Hossein Borghaei, D.O., medical oncologist at Fox Chase. "And for patients who don't have a lot of therapy options, we think this is a good thing. It gives them one more drug to try when their disease is progressing".
To find out if patients whose disease is no longer controlled by cetuximab can respond to erlotinib, Borghaei and his colleagues examined the therapy and clinical outcomes for a subgroup of patients who had participated in a Fox Chase clinical trial that tested a combination of carboplatin, paclitaxel and cetuximab as first-line therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Out of 53 patients who had participated in that trial, the researchers identified 15 individuals who had received erlotinib during subsequent treatment.........
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August 2, 2009, 11:02 PM CT
Poor sleep in children may have prenatal origins
Westchester, Ill. A study in the Aug.1 issue of the journal SLEEP
observed that alcohol consumption during pregnancy and small body size at birth predict poorer sleep and higher risk of sleep disturbances in 8-year-old children born at term. Findings are clinically significant, as poor sleep and sleep disturbances in children are linked to obesity, depressive symptoms, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and poor neurobehavioral functioning.
Results indicate that children exposed prenatally to alcohol were 2.5 times more likely to have a short sleep duration of 7.7 hours or less and 3.6 times more likely to have a low sleep efficiency of 77.2 percent or less across all nights, independent of body size at birth and current maternal alcohol use. Smaller body size at birth also was linked to poorer sleep and with a higher risk for clinically significant sleep disturbances among children born at term. More specifically, lower weight and shorter length at birth were linked to lower sleep efficiency, and a lower ponderal index (an indicator of fetal growth status) was linked to the presence of sleep disturbances. In addition, children with short sleep duration were more likely to have been born via Caesarean section than were children sleeping longer (23.1 percent versus 8.4 percent respectively).........
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August 2, 2009, 11:01 PM CT
metformin reduces risk of pancreatic cancer
Taking the most commonly-prescribed anti-diabetic drug, metformin, reduces an individual's risk of developing pancreas cancer by 62 percent, as per research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, reported in the Aug. 1 issue of Gastroenterology
"This is the first epidemiological study of metformin in the cancer population, and it offers an exciting direction for future chemoprevention research for a disease greatly in need of both therapy and prevention strategies," said Donghui Li, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology.
An oral medication, metformin is the most usually prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. As per Li, more than 35 million prescriptions for the drug are filled annually, and it's most often given to type 2 diabetic patients who are obese and/or have insulin resistance.
"Metformin works by increasing the cellular sensitivity to insulin and decreasing its level circulating in diabetics. Insulin also seems to have a growth-promoting effect in cancer," said Li, the study's senior author. "Metformin activates the AMP kinase, which is a cellular engery sensor. Recent publications have described that AMP kinase also plays an important role in the development of cancer by controlling cell division and growth."........
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August 2, 2009, 11:00 PM CT
Gas gauge to prevent pregnancy loss
New Haven, Conn. To combat the a number of fetal deaths that occur annually because the placenta is too small, scientists at Yale School of Medicine have developed a method to measure the volume of the placenta, which provides nourishment to the fetus.
Limits in current technology keep doctors from being able to monitor the growth of the placenta, which, like the gas tank of a car, is the source of fuel for the fetus. The placenta can be so small that the fetus literally runs out of food and oxygen and dies, as per main author Harvey J. Kliman, M.D., a research scientist in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. He and colleagues published the results of their findings in the August 3 issue of the American Journal of Perinatology
Fetal death, or intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD), affects 30,000 women each year in the United States. Until now, there has been no easy way to determine how much gas is left in the placentas tank.
Kliman decided to study this issue after noting that a number of late-term pregnancy losses were linked to very small placentas. He theorized that in much the same way that an obstetrician uses ultrasounds to follow the growth of the fetus, or a pediatrician weighs and measures children to ensure they are growing normally, the growth of the fetus placenta could be monitored.........
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August 2, 2009, 10:58 PM CT
HIV integrase inhibitor effective
A member of a new class of antiretroviral drugs is safe and effective for patients beginning therapy against HIV, as per scientists who have completed a two-year multisite phase III clinical trial comparing it with standard antiretroviral drugs.
The results are online and scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of the Lancet
Main author of the Lancet article is Jeffrey Lennox, MD, professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at Emory University School of Medicine. Lennox is chief of Emory's HIV/AIDS clinical trials unit and vice-chair of medicine dealing with Grady Memorial Hospital.
"These results provide an additional potent, well tolerated therapy option for newly diagnosed patients with HIV infection," says Lennox.
Raltegravir, a HIV integrase inhibitor, is overall as effective as widely used efavirenz, a reverse transcriptase inhibitor, the scientists found. Raltegravir also had faster onset of action and fewer adverse side effects. In the clinical trial, both were combined with two other standard retroviral drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine.
The trial included 566 patients from 67 medical centers on five continents. The "primary endpoint" of the trial was pushing viral levels below 50 copies per ml of blood by week 48. Of the raltegravir group, 86 percent reached that goal, compared with 82 percent of the efavirenz group.........
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July 31, 2009, 0:21 AM CT
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).........
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July 31, 2009, 0:19 AM CT
Low short-term risks after bariatric surgery
Short-term complications and death rates were low following bariatric surgery to limit the amount of food that can enter the stomach, decrease absorption of food or both, as per the Longitudinal Evaluation of Bariatric Surgery (LABS-1). The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. Results are published in the July 30 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM)
Less than 1 percent (0.3 percent) of patients died within 30 days of surgery, further supporting the short-term safety of bariatric surgery as a therapy for patients with extreme obesity.
Bariatric surgery can have dramatic health benefits--such as improved blood sugar control or even reversal of type 2 diabetes. But it also carries serious risks, including death. The LABS-1 study aimed to evaluate the short-term safety of bariatric surgery to help doctors and patients understand the risks.
"Evaluating the 30-day safety outcomes of bariatric surgery in large populations is an essential step forward," as per co-author Myrlene Staten, M.D., senior advisor for diabetes translation research at NIDDK, part of NIH. "And LABS-1 data are from all patients who had their procedure performed by a surgeon participating in the study, not from just a select few patients".........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
July 31, 2009, 0:16 AM CT
Migraine headaches are a drain not only on the estimated 30 million Americans who suffer from them, but on the economy, too. Because pain and other symptoms caused by migraine headaches can be quite severe, it is projected that nearly $13 billion is spent every year in headache therapy and loss of time from work, which no one can afford these days. But as per a newly released study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,
the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there is hope for severe and frequent migraine sufferers who can't find relief in conventional remedies.
"Nearly one out of four households, including 18 percent of women, suffer from migraines and a number of patients are not only eager, but desperate to stop the pain," said ASPS Member Surgeon and study author Bahman Guyuron, MD, professor and chairman, department of plastic surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "In this study, we've shown that surgical therapy of migraine headaches is safe, effective, and that this reasonably short operation can have a colossal impact on the patients' quality of life all while eliminating signs of aging for some patients, too."
For nearly a decade, scientists have been testing the concept that migraines are caused when a person's trigeminal nerve branches are irritated. When the muscles around these branches are incapacitated, the headaches stop, which is why some patients have found relief from the 'freezing' effect of Botox therapys. However, as per this study, removal of these muscles or 'triggers,' offers an easily attainable and permanent fix.........
Posted by: Daniel Read more Source
July 29, 2009, 11:21 PM CT
Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women
A number of experimental studies have observed that physical exercise can improve cholesterol levels and subsequently decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease; however, few of these studies have included enough participant diversity to provide ethnic breakdowns. Now, a long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides race- and gender- specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, especially African-American women, experience greater benefits as a result of exercise than men.
The analysis of this large Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which appears in the recent issue of Journal of Lipid Research
, was carried out by Keri Monda and his colleagues at North Carolina and Baylor. They observed that over a 12 year period, all individuals who increased their exercise by about 180 metabolic units per week (equivalent to an additional hour of mild or 30 minutes of moderate activity per week) displayed decreased levels of triglycerides and increased levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol. However, statistically significant decreases in the "bad" LDL cholesterol were only observed in women, with especially strong effects in menopausal women and African-American women. And total cholesterol levels were only significantly decreased in African-American women.........
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