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January 4, 2011, 6:44 AM CT

Mothers Key To College-age Women Receiving HPV Vaccine

Mothers Key To College-age Women Receiving HPV Vaccine
Even after young women reach adulthood, their mothers can play a key role in convincing them to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, new research suggests.

A study observed that college-aged women were more likely to say they had received the HPV vaccine if they had talked to their mother about it.

"Mothers talking to their daughters were an important factor in whether young women were vaccinated," said Janice Krieger, main author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University.

"It is an encouraging finding, because it shows that communication between mothers and daughters can be very helpful, even if it appears to be difficult sometimes".

A number of mothers and daughters appears to be uncomfortable talking about the HPV vaccine, because it is designed to prevent the spread of a sexually-transmitted virus, Krieger said.

But regardless of the difficulty in talking about it, the vaccine is important because a persistent HPV infection may cause cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and will infect about half of sexually active people in the United States during their lifetimes.

The study appears in the January 2011 issue of the journal Human Communication Research.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 4, 2011, 6:24 AM CT

Vitamin D deficiencies and autoimmune lung disease

Vitamin D deficiencies and autoimmune lung disease
A newly released study shows that vitamin D deficiency could be associated with the development and severity of certain autoimmune lung diseases.

These findings are being published in the Jan. 4 edition of the journal Chest

Brent Kinder, MD, UC Health pulmonologist, director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Center at the University of Cincinnati and lead investigator on the study, says vitamin D deficiencies have been found to affect the development of other autoimmune diseases, like lupus and type 1 diabetes.

"We wanted to see if lack of sufficient vitamin D would also be seen in patients who are diagnosed with an autoimmune interstitial lung disease (ILD) and whether it was linked to reduced lung function," he says.

Some ILD patients first discover they have an undifferentiated connective tissue disease, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects multiple organ systems but is not developed enough for physicians to easily recognize and categorize.

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body produces abnormal cells that turn on the body and attack major organs and tissues. Connective tissue diseases include lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome.

"ILD is a group of diseases that mainly affect the tissues of the lungs instead of the airways, like asthma and emphysema do," says Kinder. "It causes scarring of the lungs, is more difficult to diagnosis and treat than other kinds of lung diseases and is often fatal.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


January 3, 2011, 6:48 AM CT

Alcoholism and risk for obesity

Alcoholism and risk for obesity
Addiction scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have observed that a risk for alcoholism also may put individuals at risk for obesity.

The scientists noted that the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk has become more pronounced in recent years. Both men and women with such a family history were more likely to be obese in 2002 than members of that same high-risk group had been in 1992.

"In addiction research, we often look at what we call cross-heritability, which addresses the question of whether the predisposition to one condition also might contribute to other conditions," says first author Richard A. Grucza, PhD. "For example, alcoholism and drug abuse are cross-heritable. This newly released study demonstrates a cross-heritability between alcoholism and obesity, but it also says - and this is very important - that some of the risks must be a function of the environment. The environment is what changed between the 1990s and the 2000s. It wasn't people's genes".

Obesity in the United States has doubled in recent decades from 15 percent of the population in the late 1970s to 33 percent in 2004. Obese people - those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more - have an elevated risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 3, 2011, 6:41 AM CT

Angry at God? If so, you're not alone

Angry at God? If so, you're not alone
The notion of being angry with God goes back to ancient days. Such personal struggles are not new, but Case Western Reserve University psychology expert Julie Exline began looking at "anger at God" in a new way.

"A number of people experience anger toward God," Exline explains. "Even people who deeply love and respect God can become angry. Just as people become upset or angry with others, including loved ones, they can also become angry with God."

Exline, an associate professor in Case Western Reserve's College of Arts and Sciences, has researched anger toward God over the past decade, conducting studies with hundreds of people, including college students, cancer survivors and grief-stricken family members.

She and her colleagues report their results in the article, "Anger toward God: Social-Cognitive Predictors, Prevalence, and Links with Adjustment to Bereavement and Cancer" in the new issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Anger toward God often coincides with deaths, illnesses, accidents or natural disasters. Yet anger is not limited to traumatic situations. It can also surface when people experience personal disappointments, failures, or interpersonal hurts. Some people see God as ultimately responsible for such events, and they become angry when they see God's intentions as cruel or uncaring. They might believe that God abandoned, betrayed, or mistreated them, Exline says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 30, 2010, 6:39 AM CT

New answers for health care design?

New answers for health care design?
Reception area of the Røros Rehabilitation center during the plant intervention.

Credit: Photo by Herman Tandberg, Tandberg Industridesign.

Could a plant "intervention" improve the well-being of patients in a difficult rehab process? Researchers from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Sweden's Uppsala University investigated this question in a recent study of 436 coronary and pulmonary patients at a Norwegian rehabilitation center. The results were published in HortScience Ruth Kj�rsti Raanaas, Grete Grindal Patil, and Terry Hartig studied the effects of an indoor plant intervention during a 2-year study conducted at the R�ros Rehabilitation Center. The experiment showed that patients' overall physical and mental health improved during the program, but the presence of new plants did not increase the degree of improvement. One encouraging finding: pulmonary patients in the "plant intervention group" reported a larger increase in well-being during their rehabilitation program more often than lung patients from the "no-plant" control group.

For the intervention, 28 new plants were placed in common areas at the rehab center, which had previously contained only a few poorly maintained plants. Aside from the introduction of the new plants and removal of some older plants, no other changes were made to the interior decoration during the study period. Coronary and pulmonary patients completed self-evaluations upon arrival at the center, after 2 weeks, and at the end of a 4-week program. The research project, designed to investigate whether the addition of indoor plants in the common areas would improve self-reported physical and mental health, subjective well-being, and emotions among patients over the course of their rehabilitation program, was funded by the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation, the Norwegian Gardener's Union, the Bank of R�ros, Tropisk Design, and Primaflor.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 25, 2010, 10:44 AM CT

Electronic medical records not always linked to better care

Electronic medical records not always linked to better care
Use of electronic health records by hospitals across the United States has had only a limited effect on improving the quality of medical care, as per a new RAND Corporation study.

Studying a wide mix of hospitals nationally, scientists observed that hospitals with basic electronic health records demonstrated a significantly higher increase in quality of care for patients being treated for heart failure.

However, similar gains were not noted among hospitals that upgraded to advanced electronic health records, and hospitals with electronic health records did not have higher quality care among patients treated for heart attack or pneumonia.

The findings, published online by the American Journal of Managed Care, are part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that new methods should be developed to measure the impact of health information technology on the quality of hospital care.

"The lurking question has been whether we are examining the right measures to truly test the effectiveness of health information technology," said Spencer S. Jones, the study's main author and an information scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Our existing tools are probably not the ones we need going forward to adequately track the nation's investment in health information technology".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 24, 2010, 1:38 PM CT

You are what your father ate

You are what your father ate
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin have uncovered evidence that environmental influences experienced by a father can be passed down to the next generation, "reprogramming" how genes function in offspring. A newly released study published this week in Cell shows that environmental cues�in this case, diet�influence genes in mammals from one generation to the next, evidence that until now has been sparse. These insights, coupled with prior human epidemiological studies, suggest that paternal environmental effects may play a more important role in complex diseases such as diabetes and heart disease than previously believed.

"Knowing what your parents were doing before you were conceived is turning out to be important in determining what disease risk factors you appears to be carrying," said Oliver J. Rando, MD, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology at UMMS and principal investigator for the study, which details how paternal diet can increase production of cholesterol synthesis genes in first-generation offspring.

The human genome is often described as the set of instructions that govern the development and functioning of life. It's not surprising, then, that most contemporary genetic research focuses on understanding and cataloging how mutations and changes to our DNA�the basis of those "instructions"�cause disease and impact health. Many recent studies, however, have begun to draw attention to the role epigenetic inheritance � inherited changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence � may play in a host of illnesses. "A major and underappreciated aspect of what is transmitted from parent to child is ancestral environment," said Dr. Rando. "Our findings suggest there are a number of ways that parents can 'tell' their children things".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 21, 2010, 6:16 AM CT

New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety

New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety
A new treatment that helps people with panic disorder normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, says SMU psychologist Alicia Meuret.

Credit: Hillsman Jackson, SMU

A new therapy program teaches people who suffer from panic disorder how to reduce the terrorizing symptoms by normalizing their breathing.

The method has proved better than traditional cognitive treatment at reducing both symptoms of panic and hyperventilation, as per a newly released study.

The biological-behavioral therapy program is called Capnometry-Assisted Respiratory Training, or CART, said psychology expert and panic disorder expert Alicia E. Meuret at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

CART helps patients learn to breathe in such a way as to reverse hyperventilation, a highly uncomfortable state where the blood stream operates with abnormally low levels of carbon dioxide, said Meuret, one of the scientists conducting the study.

Hyperventilation, a state of excessive breathing, results from deep or rapid breathing and is common in patients with panic disorders.

"We observed that with CART it's the therapeutic change in carbon dioxide that changes the panic symptoms � and not vice versa," Meuret said.



CART: Breathing exercises twice a day


During the therapy, patients undergo simple breathing exercises twice a day. A portable capnometer device supplies feedback during the exercises on a patient's CO2 levels. The goal of these exercises is to reduce chronic and acute hyperventilation and associated physical symptoms. This is achieved by breathing slower but most importantly more shallowly. Contrary to lay belief, taking deep breaths actually worsens hyperventilation and symptoms.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 9, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Cranberry Juice Not Effective Against Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberry Juice Not Effective Against Urinary Tract Infections
Drinking cranberry juice has been recommended to decrease the occurence rate of urinary tract infections, based on findings based on observation and a few small clinical trials. However, a newly released study reported in the January 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, and now available online, suggests otherwise.

College-aged women who tested positive for having a urinary tract infection were assigned to drink eight ounces of cranberry juice or a placebo twice a day for either six months or until a recurrence of a urinary tract infection, whichever happened first. Of the participants who suffered a second urinary tract infection, the cranberry juice drinkers had a recurrence rate of almost 20 percent, while those who drank the placebo suffered only a 14 percent recurrence.

"We assumed that we would observe a 30 percent recurrence rate among the placebo group. It is possible that the placebo juice inadvertently contained the active ingredients that reduce urinary tract infection risk, since both juices contained Vitamin C," explained study author Betsy Foxman, PhD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. She added, "Another possibility is that the study protocol kept participants better hydrated, leading them to urinate more frequently, therefore decreasing bacterial growth and reducing urinary tract infection symptoms".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 8, 2010, 6:56 AM CT

Eat brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables

Eat brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables
Ground-breaking research from Professor Douglas Kell, reported in the journal Archives of Toxicology, has observed that the majority of debilitating illnesses are in part caused by poorly-bound iron which causes the production of dangerous toxins that can react with the components of living systems.

These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of a number of kinds in different parts of the body.

In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to take on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly.

Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of chelators, as is green tea, with purple fruits considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively.

However, despite conflicting reports, the widely-publicised benefits of red wine seem to work in a different way, and have no similar benefits, Professor Kell's paper noted.

This new paper is the first time the link has been made between so a number of different diseases and the presence of the wrong form of iron, and gives a crucial clue as to how to prevent them or at least slow them down.

Professor Kell argues that the means by which poorly-liganded iron accelerates the onset of debilitating diseases shows up areas in which current, traditional thinking is flawed and can be dangerous.........

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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